Quantcast

Monthly Archive:: October 2012

Thanks, Dad!

My dad and I didn’t have a whole lot in common. He traveled during the week and sold equipment to railroads, while I’m at home every day doing internet publishing and child passenger safety work.  He was always puttering outside or in the garage, I am usually inside on the computer.  He liked westerns, I like sci-fi.  He liked country music, I like rock/pop.  He drank Genuine Draft, I prefer Guinness.  He was more of a “farm boy”, I am definitely more “city”.

In talking to one of my sisters recently, I realized that he did impart at least one common interest to me.  Cars.  Turns out, we all had childhood memories of helping him grease the points or do an oil change.  To this day, I still put my cars on ramps to do an oil change, a hassle I’d probably never consider if it wasn’t for my dad.   My passion happens to be new cars and keeping kids safe in cars, while his favorite pastime was restoring antique cars.  So, perhaps it is not surprising where my interest originated, especially considering how different a path it is than high power electronics design, my career before this one.

So where is this going? In honor of dad, who would have been 78 today, I decided I was going to splurge on a safer, new set of tires for my car.  Something he would certainly appreciate!  My old ones were Toyota’s crummy OEM tires, but still in pretty good condition, so I hadn’t been able to justify replacing them.  Weird thing, while I was at the shop having the new treads installed, I was passing the time talking to Kecia about upcoming blogs on the phone.  I happened to learn that her car was in the shop at the exact same time last Monday morning, also for a new set of Michelin tires.  What are the odds of that?

Maybe we can chalk it up to like minds thinking alike.  Maybe it was simple cosmic coincidence.  Tires are perhaps one of the most important and also most overlooked safety features on a car.  I’m sure Kecia is glad she got her new tires with all the rain New York state is getting (safe wishes to anyone else affected by frankenstorm Sandy this week)!  So, anyone else put on a new set of rubber recently?

Britax Parkway SGL Belt-Positioning Booster: An IIHS Best Bet Booooooster Giveaway!

 

Thanks for participating! Giveaway is now closed.

Congratulations to our winner, Peggy Randen from Facebook!

Halloween is upon us and this is no trick! Britax and CarseatBlog are giving away an IIHS “Best Bet” rated Britax Parkway SGL booster seat. You get to choose the color based on product availability at the time of the random drawing.

There are three ways to enter to win this awesome booster seat for your pumpkin!

  1. Leave a comment below (only 1 entry per household).
  2. LIKE the CarseatBlog Facebook Page (if you haven’t already) and leave a comment on our Britax Parkway giveaway post there (only 1 entry per household).
  3. Send a friend to LIKE the CarseatBlog Facebook Page.  Have them leave a comment on the giveaway post and tag you ( @jansmith sent me ), then they get an entry and you get an extra entry (unlimited additional entries)!

While you’re at Facebook, don’t forget to add us to your Carseats Interest List in the process and hey, leave a little love for Britax on their page too!

Sorry, Canadians are not eligible to win this one :( .

 

Now for the fun legal stuff:

You are not eligible if you have previously won a carseat or sponsor giveaway at CarseatBlog.com (our own giveaways of bags and such don’t count if no sponsor was mentioned).  Blog writers and editors are also not eligible.  Only one entry per household/family, please.  If you leave more than one comment, only the first one will count.

We reserve the right to deem any entry as ineligible for any reason, though this would normally only be done in the case of a violation of the spirit of the rules above.  We also reserve the right to edit/update the rules if necessary.  If a winner is deemed ineligible based on shipping restrictions or other issues or does not respond to accept the prize within 30 days, a new winner will be selected.  Good luck!

Please note:  If this is your first comment at CarseatBlog, or if you are using a different computer/device or a new email address, your comment may not appear immediately.  It will not be lost; it may just take a few hours for it to be approved.  Thank you for your understanding and patience as this is the only way we have to reduce comment spam.

 

A Year in the Life

Before I had kids, I wanted to be one of those moms who made awesome scrapbooks. When I was pregnant with my first child, I routinely watched a TV show that demonstrated all sorts of tools and techniques to make gorgeous pages. Inspired, I bought a scrapbook and a bunch of paper and got to work. Eight years later, it hasn’t been updated beyond my baby shower.

When I was pregnant with my second child, I got inspired again and bought another with the intention of finishing my son’s and starting one for the new baby. Three years later, the book is still in its shrink-wrap.

By the time I got pregnant the third time, I had faced the reality that I would never be a scrapbooking mom. It just takes too much money, space, and (most important) time. I did want to do something, though, to commemorate the first year of my last child’s life.

Some of my friends take monthly photos of their babies sitting next to the same stuffed animal in order to have a visual record of their baby’s growth. I liked this idea, but we didn’t have any stuffed animals that seemed worthy the task, and I sure didn’t want to buy a new one just to be a photo prop.

After some brainstorming, it hit me: The car seat! Each month, I could take a photo of my baby in my beloved Coccoro. It was genius! (As it turns out, some other people from car-seat.org had gotten the same idea prior to my brainstorm, so my idea wasn’t necessarily unique, but I didn’t know it at the time.)

My baby boy turned 1 the other day, and I snapped my last monthly photo of him in the Coccoro. Without further ado, here is the closest thing Oliver will get to a scrapbook:

A couple days old, about 8 pounds, 20.5″ 

 

 One month

 

 Two months

 

 Three months

 

 Four months

 

 Five months

 

 Six months

 

 Seven months

 

 Eight months

 

 Nine months

 

 Ten months

 

 Eleven months

 

 One year! Approximately 18 lbs, 30″

 

 

Booster Fit Is Better Than Ever! 2012 IIHS Booster Ratings

Boosters are better than ever at fitting the “gap” kids: those kids ages 4-8 who should be in belt-positioning boosters, but are often taken out of harnessed seats when they outgrow them. Those of us who are in child passenger safety know that children really don’t size out of boosters until ages 10-11, ages that typically shock most parents. That means that children are in belt-positioning booster seats longer than any other type of child restraint.

What are the current restraint recommendations? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:

  • All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat (CSS) until they are 2 years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the manufacturer of their CSS.
  • All children 2 years or older, or those younger than 2 years who have outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit for their CSS, should use a forward-facing CSS with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by the manufacturer of their CSS.
  • All children whose weight or height is above the forward-facing limit for their CSS should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle lap-and-shoulder seat belt fits properly, typically when they have reached 4 feet 9 inches in height and are between 8 and 12 years of age.
  • When children are old enough and large enough to use the vehicle seat belt alone, they should always use lap-and-shoulder seatbelts for optimal protection.
  • All children younger than 13 years should be restrained in the rear seats of vehicles for optimal protection.

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) began testing boosters for fit in 2008 and only 10 boosters rated a “Best Bet.” This year, 15 of 17 belt-positioning booster seats introduced in 2012 earned a “Best Best” rating and overall, there are a total of 47 “Best Bet” boosters. That’s fantastic and means more choices for consumers than ever before. But ultimately, what does that mean for you as a consumer of a safety product? After all, you want the safest product for your most precious cargo.

The IIHS uses a 6 year old dummy to test belt fit in the boosters. Boosters aren’t crash tested in these tests; they’re reviewed only for fit on the 6 year old dummy. How do you know if your booster fits *your* child well? After all, a dummy is stiff and doesn’t move all over the place like a real life child does. The shoulder belt should fall across the middle of the shoulder, slightly closer to the neck than the edge of the shoulder. The lap belt should ride low on the lap, touching the tops of the thighs.

  This picture shows good shoulder belt fit.

  This picture shows good lap belt fit. It’s low, touching the thighs.

  This picture shows poor lap belt fit. It’s resting up on the belly.

Really, while the IIHS ratings are a great help to parents as a starting off point for finding boosters that are most likely to fit in the widest variety of vehicles, only *you* are the best judge of what may work in *your* situation. Certain extreme seat belt geometries, such as when the shoulder belt comes out from behind the child’s shoulder or in front of the child’s body, may mean that a “Good Fit” booster on the IIHS list is a “Best Bet” booster for you.

Shall we get on with the list? Yes! We’ve indicated with a * which “Best Bet” boosters are on our own Recommended Carseats list and as much as we’d love to add all the seats to our recommended list, we simply can’t. Bolded items on the list are new for 2012.

Best Bet

*Britax Frontier 85
*Britax Frontier 85 SICT
*Britax Parkway SGL (highback mode)
*BubbleBum
Chicco KeyFit Strada (highback mode)
*Clek Oobr (highback mode)
Cosco Pronto (highback mode)
Diono Monterey (highback mode)
Diono Radian R100
Diono Radian R120
*Diono Radian RXT
Eddie Bauer Auto Booster (highback mode)
*Evenflo Big Kid Amp
Evenflo Big Kid Amp High Back (backless mode)
Evenflo Big Kid Sport (backless mode)
*Evenflo Maestro
*Evenflo Secure Kid LX/DLX
*Evenflo Symphony 65 e3
Ferrari Dreamway SP (highback mode)
*Graco Argos 70 (highback mode)
Graco Backless TurboBooster
*Graco Nautilus (highback mode)
*Graco TurboBooster (backless mode)
*Graco TurboBooster (highback mode)
Graco TurboBooster COLORZ
Graco TurboBooster Elite (backless mode)
Graco TurboBooster Elite (highback mode)
*Graco TurboBooster Safety Surround (backless mode)
*Graco TurboBooster Safety Surround (highback mode)
Harmony Carpooler
Harmony Cruz Youth Booster
Harmony Dreamtime Booster (backless mode)
Harmony Dreamtime Booster (highback mode)
*Harmony Olympian
Harmony V6 Highback Booster (backless mode)
Harmony V6 Highback Booster (highback mode)
*Harmony Youth Booster Seat
*Kiddy Cruiserfix Pro
Kiddy World Plus
Kids Embrace Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Maxi-Cosi Rodi XR (highback mode)
Recaro ProBOOSTER
*Recaro ProSPORT
*Recaro Vivo
Safety 1st Boost Air Protect (highback mode)
Safety 1st S1 Rumi Air/Essential Air
The First Years Pathway B570

Good Bets

Britax Parkway SG (highback mode)
Combi Kobuk Air-Thru (backless mode)
Combi Kobuk Air-Thru(highback mode)
Evenflo Symphony 65
Maxi-Cosi Rodi (highback mode)

Check Fit

Britax Parkway SG (backless mode)
Britax Parkway SGL (backless mode)
Chicco KeyFit Strada (backless mode)
Clek Olli
Clek Oobr (backless mode)
Clek Ozzi
Cosco Ambassador
Cosco Highback Booster
Cosco Pronto (backless mode)
Cosco Top Side
Diono/Sunshine Kids Monterey (backless mode)
Diono/Sunshine Kids Santa Fe
Eddie Bauer Auto Booster (backless mode)
Evenflo Big Kid Amp (highback mode)
Evenflo Big Kid LX (backless mode)
Evenflo Big Kid LX (highback mode)
Evenflo Big Kid No Back Booster
Evenflo Big Kid Sport (highback mode)
Ferrari Dreamway SP (backless mode)
Ferrari Ola
Graco Argos 70 (backless mode)
Graco Nautilus  (backless mode)
Graco Nautilus Elite (backless mode)
Graco Nautilus Elite (highback mode)
Graco Smart Seat
Maxi-Cosi Rodi (backless mode)
Maxi-Cosi Rodi XR (backless mode)
Safety 1st Boost Air Protect (backless mode)
Safety 1st Go Hybrid
Safety 1st Summit
Safety 1st Vantage
Safety 1st Ventura
The First Years Compass B505
The First Years Compass B530
The First Years Compass B540
Volvo Booster (backless mode)
Volvo Booster (highback mode)

Not Recommended

Safety 1st All-in-One
Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite

space

The 2012 update is in the most recent IIHS Status Report. You’ll want to stay close to CarseatBlog.com because you know that good things happen for our readers when good news is released ;).