Monthly Archive:: June 2012

Lifesavers Conference 2012 Wrap-Up

It was another great year for Lifesavers and this one was special because it was the 30th Anniversary!  Needless to say, a lot has changed and much progress has been made in the last three decades but everyone involved in Child Passenger Safety and in other traffic safety issues knows that there is still so much more to be done.  I always leave the conference with renewed passion and enthusiasm (and no voice from talking all day, and a hangover from excessive good times with great people… but I digress). Lol.


I posted some tidbits and updates on the previous Lifesavers blog.  Here is the rest of the news and updates:


TrueFit: Original C630 model is already discontinued. Recline model is being discontinued. Only the Premier model with anti-rebound bar will be available going forward. Head wings have been redesigned to be deeper and more contoured. New C680 model with redesigned headwings will be available on Amazon starting in mid July. Coming in Fall 2012 is the new C685 IAlert TrueFit model.  I predict this technology is going to be the start of something very big in this industry. Parents are busier (and more distracted) than ever before and this innovative technology addresses several key areas of concern. I saw the full demo and was very impressed!




Merritt Manufacturing (for children with special healthcare needs):  Prototype rear-facing only seat for children with omphalocele. While the condition can range in size and severity – the intestines and sometimes the liver and spleen protrude outside the baby’s body. About 1 in 10,000 births result in some form of an omphalocele and about 25 to 40% of infants with an omphalocele have other birth defects as well. The condition is most often surgically corrected before age 2. Please keep in mind that this is a prototype and changes will likely be made before the seat is eventually released. No word on when it might be available but they’re working on it.


Also coming soon from Merritt – a secure travel containment system for all the monitors and medical devices that often need to accompany babies and children with special healthcare needs. The device securely contains monitors, (2) oxygen canisters, suction devices, etc., and the entire contraption is secured on the floor of the vehicle via 4 points of attachment. A fantastic idea and something that is greatly needed!



Graco: They’re going back and looking at the Size4Me 40” rear-facing height maximum. No promises of any changes but they’re talking internally about what the concerns are and what the other options might be. We promise to keep you posted if we hear of any changes. New Turbo with Safety Surround is very nice. Base is exactly the same as the original model. Both EPS and EPP foam are used in the back and head wings portion (in different places). Placing the EPP on the outside of the torso wings was deliberate. Its purpose is to absorb some of the energy that occurs when the booster contacts the vehicle door or the intruding object during a side-impact crash. In this area, placing the EPP on the outside provides more benefit than putting it inside the shell.


Mercury Distributing (Institutional Sales for CPS Programs): They now carry the Cosco Apt, Safety 1st Avenue and Comfy Carry Elite Plus! Hopefully they will carry the new Dorel Topside LBB too in the near future.


Evenflo – I already covered most of the big Evenflo news in my previous blog but here are a few more pics and a little more info on the new Sure Ride/Titan 65 convertible. Sure Ride/Titan65 will be rated to 40 lbs RF and from 22-65 FF. It should be available by September and will make its way to  Canada also (but the U.S. will get it first).  New Chase model (based on the Maestro) will replace the existing Chase model and will be sold at Walmart. 22-40 lbs only with 5-pt harness. New Triumph 65 will have improved harness adjuster mechanism. Momentum is being phased out. Lots of nice new fashions coming soon! I <3 the red and gray Symphony65 e3!



Dorel: Full range of current products were on display (everything from Comfy Carry to Pria70) and we had a nice long talk about anything and everything . No news to report ATM but we hope to have something to share on the new Maxi-Cosi Prezi infant seat soon.


GM new front seat center airbag. Extremely cool technology. And they’ve tested the hell out of it to make sure that there aren’t going to be any unintended negative consequences or interactions with child restraints secured in the rear center seating position. They even tested with a RF Britax convertible tethered Swedish style and found no issues. These airbags will be standard on all 2013 Buick Enclave models and standard on ’13 GMC Acadia and ’13 Chevy Traverse models with power front seats. Acadia and Traverse models with manual front seats will not have the center airbag.


Hey, You.

Yeah, you.  The guy behind me who sped past me in the left lane, doing 10mph over the speed limit.  Then, immediately merged into my lane only to jam on the brakes to make a right turn.  Why not just merge behind me and wait the two extra seconds, saving fuel and avoiding a dangerous situation?  I mean, seriously, there was no one else behind me, and you probably didn’t even see the kids approaching on the bikes who were fortunate that they were not close enough to cross, yet.

Then there was the driver of the Audi TT who appeared to have a baby about 1 year old forward facing in the front seat of a tiny car, in what looked to be an infant baby bucket.  I’m sorta glad I wasn’t close enough to get a better look.  Hopefully the child was a bit older and was otherwise correctly restrained in a small convertible seat, at least…

So, what road hazard did you observe this week?

With Love (& Pictures) from Lifesavers Orlando!

I arrived in hot and muggy Florida today. Woohoo!  Just a quick update on some of the things I learned and saw today. More updates to follow tomorrow.


Britax G3 Convertibles: New belly pad holds the buckle forward for loading and unloading. New HUGS pads have energy absorbing properties.  HUGS are attached via a piece of thin webbing to back of shell so they maintain proper positioning. HUGS are still optional for RF children. New chest clip. Due to new HUGS attachment system you need to grab the harness at the chest clip and pull to loosen harness straps.

Cool new Britax vehicle seat protector mat is made of an awesome thin flexible rubber material. I love it! I want one to put under my slob of a teenage son in our vehicle. Lol.



Evenflo Updates:

New mini push-on LATCH connectors (same as new connectors being used by Graco) will be available on Embrace 35 soon and eventually on the Secure Kid 300 too.

Boosters now have 110 lbs wt max and a 4 year age minimum

New Titan 65/Sure Ride convertible: Price will vary from $79 – $99 depending on fashion and trim level. I forget when it’s going to be available but will find out tomorrow and post more details. 6 sets of harness slots. Bottom slots measured around 6.5″  with bottom insert cushion. Top harness slots (without insert) measured around 19″. EPS foam.

New HBB with activity lights coming soon (available exclusively at Walmart) – based on Amp.

Discovery has a new handle coming soon! Goodbye Z handle! Hello normal handle with forward handle position. It’s not enough to make me actually like the Discovery but it’s still progress and I’ll take it! :)



Combi: Nothing new to report ATM. I pleaded for some new fashions for Coccoro but nothing coming anytime soon. Oh, I almost forgot. Kobuk HBB is now rated to 125 lbs.


Clek: Snowberry Foonf and Saddle Oobr are here but there is no “new” news to report.


Bubble Bum: Best laugh of the day! Meet “Mr. BubbleBum”. He’s totally far out and groovy!


Day 2 updates and photos are posted HERE.

Think Your Big Kids Don’t Need A Booster? Think Again.

In two weeks my youngest son will turn 8. That means in New York State, where we live, he would be “legal” riding in just the adult seatbelt. But is following the legal minimums in your state really a good idea? You wouldn’t sign your kid out of school on his or her 16th birthday just because the law says you can, right?  And you wouldn’t let your child marry their first cousin at age 14 (with parental consent, of course!) just because you live in Alabama where this is actually legal, would you? Do you see where I’m going with this?

Ditching the booster seat as soon as your state law allows it only means that you can’t be ticketed. It doesn’t mean that it’s recommendable or even safe. Restraint laws for children are the perfect example of laws that really fall short.  When it comes to protecting our “big kids” from the #1 cause of death and injury in their age group, you need more than the law on your side. You need to insist that your kids (and those in your care) continue to use a booster seat until they can pass the 5-Step Test in the vehicle(s) that they ride in.

Adult seatbelts are just not designed to fit kids and uncomfortable kids are at much greater risk of serious injury because they either don’t buckle up at all or they misuse the seatbelt in ways that reduce effectiveness and contribute to internal injuries (see video below).  Unfortunately, even a lap/shoulder seatbelt that is worn “correctly” by a child may cause injuries in a crash because it usually doesn’t contact the strong parts of the body – pelvic bones and collar bone. Very often the lap belt portion of the seatbelt crosses the abdomen instead which can lead to serious internal injuries and even paralysis.

Still not convinced or need help convincing someone else?  Take a moment and check out this compelling video, Boost ‘em in the Back Seatcourtesy of the Department of Pediatrics‘ Division of Community Health and Research (CHR) at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) in Norfolk, Virginia. Funding for this video and related research was provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you agree that this is important, life-saving information please share this compelling video and help us spread the word that BOOSTERS ARE FOR BIG KIDS!!!

Rare & Unusual Carseat Sighting!

I know many of our regular readers are true carseat geeks like me, so I wanted to share my recent experience with a carseat I’ve heard about but never seen in real life. Many thanks to CPS Technician Dan Lucak for going out of his way to bring me this fascinating blast from the past. I wish I knew more about the seat but all I know is that it was FMVSS213 approved and rated from 20-40 lbs. If anyone has additional details, I’d love to know more about it. I’m curious if it was strictly for use in ambulances on a rear-facing captain’s chair or if it was approved for use in regular vehicles too. This model didn’t have a tether strap but it pre-dates the tether strap requirement so that’s not a surprise.