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Monthly Archive:: January 2013

Weight Limits: The Death of LATCH?

LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren.  It’s the next generation of child safety.

It’s a pair of metal anchors located in the seat bight, plus a top tether anchor located somewhere behind the vehicle seat.  Combined, these anchors were to make installation of carseats much easier than using seatbelts.  With me so far?

Problem is, at least in the USA, we made a lot of concessions to automobile and child restraint manufacturers when the system was implemented.  For example, the anchors are often hard to find or access.  Also, rigid LATCH isn’t required, as it is with ISOFIX in Europe.  Center and third row seating positions may not have anchors at all.  High weight limit seats are not considered.  This last issue has become a big problem, due to the rapid proliferation in carseats with 5-point harnesses now rated above 40 pounds in the USA and *Canada.

The rules, many of which are unwritten for the typical parent, are so absolutely crazy that certified child passenger safety technicians need a 200-page reference manual to help understand it.  The average parent or caregiver? They don’t even know about the rules or manual in the first place!  Thus, misuse happens.  It’s no wonder that parents who do know about it are so confused, they simply choose not to deal with it.

Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up:  In 2014, new federal standards, subject to petitions of the final rule, will require carseats to have another label.  This label will limit the use of lower anchors to a maximum weight for a child.  This child’s weight limit printed on each carseat, plus the weight of the carseat, must be 65 pounds combined, or less.  Thus, for any child seat that weighs over 25 pounds, it cannot be used with the lower anchors once the child is above 40 pounds (or less).  Clear as mud?

Adding to the confusion, these new federal requirements do not directly affect top tether anchors, the other component of LATCH.  Nonetheless, many automobile manufacturers are still currently limiting top tether anchor use to the same combined 65-pound [child plus carseat] weight, even when a seatbelt is used for installation.  A few still limit use to a 40- or 48-pound child weight.  That means that if you own any of these automobile makes (and you may need that 200-page manual to know which ones!), you should no longer use the top tether above this limit.  Still following me?

Of course, it is the tall and heavy kids that need top tethers the most in order to reduce head excursion, the source of severe head injury risk!  So, this is a major conflict in what we know about crash dynamics and something that could put older kids at risk.  All this leads to the following questions:

Diono Monterey Highback Booster *Giveaway* – Week 11 of CarseatBlog’s Extended Holiday Giveaway Bonanza!

For week 11 of our Extended Holiday Giveaway Bonanza, we’ve partnered with our generous friends at Diono to offer a brand new Monterey Highback Booster model with updated shoulder belt guides!  This popular booster is better than ever thanks to a new integrated shoulder belt guide design which  improves overall compatibility in various vehicles. The Monterey is a dual mode (highback or backless) booster rated from 30-120 lbs. It has energy-absorbing EPS foam, flexible lower LATCH attachments, height-adjustable head wings and width-adjustable torso wings. It has a Best Bet rating from the IIHS in highback mode and it tends to fit bigger, taller kids very well so it’s a great option for keeping your older kids safely in a booster until they can pass the 5-Step Test in your vehicle. The new Monterey is on our list of recommended seats and we hope to have a review of this latest model in the near future. Winner will have their choice of available Monterey fashions!

This promotion is now closed. Thank you for participating!  A winner will be announced soon!

There are three (3) ways to enter to win this fabulous belt-positioning booster seat!

  • Leave a comment below (only 1 entry per household).
  • LIKE the CarseatBlog Facebook Page (if you haven’t already) and leave a comment on our Diono Monterey giveaway post there (only 1 entry per household).
  • LIKE the Diono Facebook Page (if you haven’t already) and leave a comment on the CarseatBlog & Monterey giveaway post there (only 1 entry per household).

Winner must have a U.S. shipping address. Canada is excluded – sorry!

Now for the fine print:

You are not eligible if you have previously won a carseat or any sponsor giveaway at CarseatBlog.com during 2012 or 2013 (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.

The contest will close on Sunday night, 2/3, and a random winner will be chosen on Monday, 2/4. 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.

 

 

He’s not mine, I swear.

You know how when your kids get older, they want you to stay away from them in public so you don’t embarrass them? I distinctly remember wanting my mom to park at the VERY end of the pick up line when I was a freshman in high school because she was always singing and dancing in the car while waiting and I was paranoid someone would see. Because obviously your life is ruined if you mom sings Hootie and the Blowfish, right? Well the more experience I have with raising a kid, the more gung ho I am about making your kids deal with your embarrassing habits and suck it up, because guess what? It is sweet sweet revenge. Revenge for the millions of times they embarrassed you in public when they were younger. Unfortunately you don’t have the option of telling your two year old to go to the opposite end of the check out line so no one will know he is yours. Therefore, when he turns 16, he can’t pretend you are not his.

In the last month alone I can count three times I wanted to do a combination of melting into an invisible puddle and laughing hysterically. Two instances happened today. The first was a few months ago. We were strolling through the mall and an older lady was walking towards us dressed head to toe in yellow. I’m talking BRIGHT yellow. A complete pants suit. With yellow heels and a yellow hat. She was also very, uh, sturdy, and easily towered over me. For one reason or another, she decided to say hi to Liam. Liam is usually very outgoing and will immediately put his hand on his chest and say, “Me Liam”, caveman style. This time he started screaming, clinging to my leg and yelling, “Wook! Help mama! Big bad banana!!!”. People were staring, because he was screaming like someone was pinching him. The Bad Banana Lady gave us the dirtiest look I’ve seen in awhile and stormed past us. Liam, relieved, let go of my leg and said, “Whew, all gone.”

The next two were today at Costco. We were walking to get eggs when a woman on one of those motorized scooter things whizzed by us. Liam yelled very loudly, “Wook! It’s the big sick lady on Wall-E!”. Apparently she very much resembled one of the boneless meal drinking people on the hovercraft things on Wall-E. He would NOT stop talking about it and of course she happened to be on every aisle we needed to go down. I was very relieved when we finally got to the check out line. Liam likes to push the cart onto one side of the register while I stand on the other to pay. The woman boxing things up was talking to him and he was chattering away. Suddenly, I hear him go “Wook! HAHHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!” in his crazy little laugh. My heart sank because I know that laugh. That is the laugh of his latest and greatest joke he’s picked up since potty training. I’ve been doing my best to ignore it in hopes he would stop and never do it in public but obviously that didn’t work. I meekly peered over the register to find my son standing with his hands on his hips, front of his waistband pulled down and tucked so he was dangling out for all to see. “Wook! Peeking!!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!”. I  silently vowed to kill Shaun for laughing the first time he ever did that, because if he hadn’t, maybe this public display of two year old glory wouldn’t be happening. I don’t think I’ve ever moved around a register so fast, but I’m pretty sure he was only exposed to air for maybe 5 seconds before I grabbed him. Fortunately the bagger had two boys of her own and didn’t seem too traumatized, but I’d be lying if I’m not considering making my kid wear diapers again.

Wish me luck because when he wakes up, we have to go to Target. Sigh.

Maybe if I disguise him enough, someone will just think he’s a random awkward man?

Snugli Harnessed Booster *Giveaway* – Week 10 of CarseatBlog’s Extended Holiday Giveaway Bonanza!

For week 10 of our Extended Holiday Giveaway Bonanza, we’ve partnered with our generous friends at Snugli to offer an awesome, brand-spankin’ new Snugli Harnessed Booster based on the popular Secure Kid 400 combination seat!  This brand new model offers all of the premium features of the Secure Kid 400 (“e3″ Side-Impact protection, self-ratcheting SureLATCH connectors, dual integrated cup holders), plus it has memory foam for added comfort and Outlast® temperature-regulating fabric to keep kids cool in the heat!

This is a forward-facing only seat rated from 22-65 lbs and up to 50″ tall with the 5-point harness. In booster mode it’s rated from 40-110 lbs. This higher-weight seat has tall top harness slots so it’s a great choice even for tall, skinny kids. Plus, it’s lightweight which is a real bonus if you travel with your seats or move them from vehicle-to-vehicle frequently. We have a review of the Secure Kid here and it’s on our list of Recommended Seats. Winner will have their choice of either the Black Camo or Pinstripe fashion!

This promotion is now closed. Thank you for participating!  A winner will be announced soon!

There are three (3) ways to enter to win this fabulous new combination seat!

  • Leave a comment below (only 1 entry per household).
  • LIKE the CarseatBlog Facebook Page (if you haven’t already) and leave a comment on our Snugli Harnessed Booster giveaway post there (only 1 entry per household).
  • LIKE the Snugli Facebook Page (if you haven’t already) and leave a comment on the CarseatBlog & Harnessed Booster giveaway post there (only 1 entry per household).

Winner must have a U.S. shipping address. Canada is excluded – sorry!

Now for the fine print:

You are not eligible if you have previously won a carseat or any sponsor giveaway at CarseatBlog.com during 2012 or 2013 (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.

The contest will close on Sunday night, 1/27, and a random winner will be chosen on Monday, 1/28. 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.