Nanny State

New York, Ohio and other states have recently added or updated their child passenger safety laws.    All but a few states in the USA have relatively strict laws pertaining to the restraint of children in motor vehicles.  Many of these are among the strictest in the world, requiring kids to be in a harness or booster until at least 8 years old .  At the opposite end of the spectrum, some states like Florida have relatively lax laws, ending at 3 years of age.  Some countries have no such laws at all, for kids or adults.  In some cultures, it is normal for newborns sit on a nanny’s lap, having only luck or their parent’s faith to protect them.  Is it better to rely on the lap of a nanny, or is it better to have our government nanny us all with restrictive laws?

The debate on motorcycle helmets is not entirely different.  Both sides toss around statistics that make their case sound compelling.  There are other issues, like cost, hassle and fun.  Shouldn’t the driver have a choice?  If their risk is higher without a helmet, aren’t they the party that should decide if they want to take the risk or not?

There is one difference with child seats.  A legal driver of a motorcycle is presumably beyond the age of reason and their choice will not generally affect the well being of anyone else.  Kids 8 and under aren’t even to the age of reason and certainly cannot be expected to decide upon matters of life and death for themselves.  They require a responsible adult to make these choices for them.  But what if the adult isn’t responsible?  Perhaps they don’t know any better, perhaps they don’t care.  Skeptics may simply hate goverment interference and seek out any isolated statistic showing that kids don’t need child restraints, allowing them to rationalize behavior contrary to accepted safest practice. 

Whatever the reason, is it just OK to say that Darwin’s theory will tend to rid the gene pool of those who choose not to adequately protect themselves or their offspring?  We have a lot of superfluous laws in the USA and its states.  Is this just another one that wastes the time of law enforcement and the money of its citizens?  Or is it one saving the lives of many children and also saving huge sums of money in medical and funeral expenses?


A Primer on Manual Reading

boringIt’s OK to admit.  Really it is.  Carseat manuals are boring to read.  Whenever I get a new carseat, I feel a rush of adrenaline, a high, if you will—a new carseat, yay!  I race to pull it out of the box to put it together.  The best carseats are those that go together without needing instructions.  Like backless boosters, lol!  The worst are the ones where you have to crack open the manual for assembly instructions.  Bummer!  I’ll never forget the panic I felt when I decided to raise the harness slot position on my son’s Airway 15 minutes before I was to leave to pick him up from preschool.  Those of you familiar with that seat know it takes much longer than 15 minutes to change the slot height (BTW, for a typical seat, changing slot height takes about a minute).  The manual was less than helpful in showing me how to remove the “blue harness anchor” from under the seat (wha???).  He was very patient that 108° afternoon as I finished it up in the parking lot of the preschool.

Giveaway Winners – And a New Giveaway

Thanks again to kids-n-cribs.com , Evenflo.com and Dorel/Cosco  for our recent giveaways.  Congratulations to our winners, Jennifer, daycaremom2002 and Louisa+3!  I hope you all enjoy your boosters!

We have a smaller giveaway today.  It’s a sporty, red Chicco backpack/tote.  It seemed only fitting as a followup to Kecia’s review of the Chicco Keyfit 30, one of our favorite infant seats.  Inside the tote bag is the last CarseatBlog seatbelt buckle keychain and the last Leeny and Tamara CD!  Good luck!

To enter, please reply with a comment!  Everyone is eligible, except those who already have a keychain!  One entry per person.  If you comment more than once, only the first will count!  Contest ends Friday.

Chicco KeyFit 30 Review: Infant Carseat Nirvana

Fuego_KF_360Let me preface this review by saying “Finally, something that Consumer Reports and I can agree on!”  In case you missed it – they recently rated the KeyFit and KeyFit 30 as the two best overall infant carseats among the models they tested.  Now, if you follow this blog, you’ll understand how unusual it is for me to completely agree with Consumer Reports on anything related to child restraints. However, the KeyFit is a well-thought-out, well-designed and well-constructed infant carseat and CR was right to load heaps of praise upon it.

The KeyFit and KeyFit 30 are infant carseats from Chicco (pronounced KEEK-koh).  The original KeyFit model (aka the KeyFit 22) is generally only sold with the Chicco Cortina stroller as a “travel system” while the KeyFit 30 model is usually sold separately but can be paired with any compatible Chicco stroller (see table below) to create a travel system, if desired.  The Chicco KeyFit Caddy is a great option if you want a snap-n-go type product that has many of the same great qualities found in a full-featured stroller.

Chicco strollers compatible with the KeyFit infant carseat
Cortina; Cortina SE; Cortina MAGIC
Liteway Plus
KeyFit Caddy (stroller frame)
Cortina Together (double stroller)

 KeyFit TS   KeyFit TS   KeyFit TS   Keyfit TS  


The original KeyFit is rated for babies from 4 to 22 pounds and 30” or less in height.  The KeyFit 30 model is rated for babies from 4-30 lbs and 30” or less in height.  Both seats are the same size and shape – the only differences are the maximum weight limit, cover options and a small price differential.  With either model, you should discontinue usage once the child reaches either the weight limit OR the 30” height limit OR if the top of the child’s head is less than 1” from the top of the restraint.  Current models of both the KeyFit and KeyFit 30 utilize the same base.  These bases have a sticker on the side indicating that they can be used with either the 22 lb or 30 lb models.

The KeyFit 30 model used in this review is the “Romantic” pattern. It’s not a soft fabric like a cotton or plush microfiber but it does seem like it would be fairly resistant to frequent spit-up. This particular model comes with a seasonal boot cover, which is easy to snap on and off. It also comes with a newborn insert, a head support insert and harness strap covers.  The KeyFit 30 retails for around $189.