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booster Archive

Britax Parkway Slide Guard

 

Britax is back on the market with a dedicated belt positioning booster, the Britax Parkway Slide Guard.  From the first pictures, it doesn’t look all that exciting, I hate to admit.   But I’ve bought one or two of their original ‘boring’ seats and have been happy with them, so I won’t judge a book (er…carseat) by it’s cover.

One thing that is unique about this seat is the “Slide Guard. ”  For lack of a better comparison, it’s like a crotch strap in the seating area that hooks to the lap belt and, as it says on the Amazon site, “works with the vehicle safety belt to prevent the child from sliding under the lap-belt portion of the safety belt during impact, thus minimizing the risk of abdominal injury.”   These are popular in Australian boosters (from what I gathered in a quick google search).  And some of us remember when the Starriser with Anti Submarine Clip was going to be released here, but never made to market.  So this is not an entirely new gadget, and I’m glad we are finally seeing it on a seat in the US.

The Parkway Slide Guard also has armrests, unlike the previous Parkway which was discontinued last year.

Now…hmmm… what seats do I need to purge to make room for one or two of these in my cars…?

Combi Dakota Review

Friends of mine in the CPS world have sung the praises of the Combi Dakota backless booster for years now. I recommended it right along with them, usually for older, larger children, but never truly understood the magic of this seat. What could be so great about plastic and cloth that I should NEED to add it to my already-vast booster collection?

But finally I broke down and got one and my 9 year old sat right down in it and proclaimed it her all-time favorite booster.  I asked what she liked so much, and she declared, “It’s cushy for my tushy. And it’s so tall! And the cup holder is big and easy to use. And it’s really easy to buckle”

Of course I read the manual before we went out to the car to test the seat. It has broad weight and height limits: 3 years/33 pounds/33 inches, up to 100 pounds/57 inches. And the instructions are standard for a backless booster, such as requiring a head restraint and shoulderbelt. One interesting warning I found was: “NEVER allow child to buckle themselves in this Booster Car Seat”. I do applaud Combi for encouraging adult involvement in the buckling process, but I think for my own child I’ll just be sure to make a visual check that she’s secured properly.  

Sunshine Kids Monterey Booster Review

Sunshine Kids Monterey: A Versatile Booster

Vehicle seat belts are designed to fit an average 160 lbs. man, not your average 4-10 year old child.  That’s why we have booster seats.  A booster seat raises the child up so that the lap portion of the lap/shoulder belt falls across the bony hips, not the soft, easily injured abdomen.  High back boosters, like the Sunshine Kids Monterey, have headrests with shoulder belt guides to keep the shoulder belt off the child’s neck.  Booster seats should always be used with a lap/shoulder seat belt.

Who should use this seat?

Sunshine Kids recommends this seat for children who are about 4-10 years old, weigh 30-120 lbs., and are between 38″ and 63″ tall.  The back can be removed and used for children who fit the same size specifications.  Some booster seats require a 40 lbs. minimum when switching to backless, but not the Monterey.  As a technician, I would never recommend a child under 40 lbs. use a backless booster.

Random Thoughts at KIM

Today started with the child restraint manufacturers session.   Mostly, we heard about revisions to existing products and manuals.  There really wasn’t much for new products.   At least one of these new products was just announced in a press release, so hopefully I can say more about it in this space very soon! I suspect the new products I hoped to discuss will be on display at the ABC Kids Expo in September.   Heather and I will be there as media attendees, so hopefully we will have much more interesting news and photos to share then!

In the mean time, I’ll discuss what the representative from Chicco USA had to say about some of the most common issues they hear about on the customer service line.