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Evenflo SafeMax 3-in-1 Combination Carseat Review – Rollover Tested for Maximum Safety

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I just wrapped up my review of the brand new Evenflo Spectrum Booster, and I had mentioned that it was rollover tested.  I recently had the privilege of being able to test out another new Evenflo seat, SafeMax 3-in-1 Combination Seat. This is a forward-facing only seat for kids 2+ that can also be used as a highback booster and eventually as a backless booster too. They call it a 3-in-1 product which can be a little misleading because many consumers think a 3-in-1 carseat always means Rear-Facing/Forward-Facing/Booster. However, in this case it means Forward-Facing/Highback Booster/Backless Booster. This is a Stage 3 carseat that is most appropriate for pre-school and school-aged children.

Evenflo SafeMax 3-in-1 Specs & Features:

  • 5-point harness: Forward-facing only for kids 22-65 lbs., at least 2 years old, height 28- 50″ tall (shoulders must be at or below top harness slots).
  • Booster mode with vehicle lap/shoulder belt: 40-120 lbs., at least 4 years old, height 44 – 57″ (top of ears must be below the top of the head support).
  • 4 harness height positions
  • 2 crotch strap/buckle positions
  • Height-adjustable head support
  • Rollover tested
  • Steel reinforced frame
  • Recline feature on base (reclined position required for kids under 40 lbs.)
  • Harness strap covers (required for kids under 40 lbs.)
  • Buckle Pockets keep harness out of the way while loading/unloading
  • Dual integrated cup holders
  • Basic, hook-style lower LATCH connectors (LATCH limit is 45 lbs.)
  • FAA approved for use in aircraft (with 5-pt harness)
  • 8 year lifespan before expiration

SafeMax 3-in-1 Measurements:

All the Specs! A Review of the Evenflo Spectrum 2-in-1 Booster

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Evenflo Spectrum BoosterEvenflo has made safe, affordable carseats for decades, and they aren’t new to booster seats either. Spectrum is the newest member of the Evenflo family with some unique and innovate features. My first impression upon taking it out of the box was that it was very streamlined and modern looking. I know booster seats can be pretty run of the mill when it comes to looks, but Spectrum has some special touches that add to its unique appearance.

There is some assembly required when it comes out of the box but it isn’t difficult if you follow the directions in the manual. There are no tools (or screws) required and it doesn’t come in a million pieces like Ikea furniture. 
 

Spectrum is currently available at Target, Babies R Us, Amazon (coming soon) and directly from Evenflo. MSRP is $59.99.

Spectrum Specifications:

(say that 10 times fast!)

  • Weight 40 – 110 lbs.
  • Height 44 – 57”
  • 4 year age minimum. I got all nerdy over the spread in the manual regarding how to know if a child is appropriate to ride in a booster.

Evenflo - When to Put Your Child in a Booster Seat

  • Adjustable headrest with 8 height settings
  • Lyf+Guard side-impact protection technology in the head rest
  • Does not require a vehicle head restraint when used in high back mode
  • 6 year lifespan before expiration
  • Dual cupholders/snack trays
  • Machine washable cover that can also be thrown in the dryer!!

Reason #4239423742398475 your kid is crying.

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A familiar scene in our house is me sitting quietly on the couch, lights dimmed, enjoying the last few minutes of silence before heading up to bed. I get up and start putting things away and I hear a sudden cry coming from upstairs. I go into Declan’s room and he’s sitting in his bed, crying uncontrollably while holding his leg. He can’t stop crying long enough to tell me what’s wrong, but I already know because we do this frequently.

Growing pains.

Which is kind of misleading because there’s no actual proof that it’s caused by growing anyway. Supposedly it’s more related to the crazy amount of physical activity kids do, even if it’s just running and jumping around the house. I do know this is true- I notice an increase in the times this happens when we do a long walk or hike, or he’s jumping on a trampoline. However, just because they can’t prove it’s not directly related to growing, I wouldn’t be surprised if it does have something to do with it. I mean, you see how fast our kids grow. It’s absolutely insane. So unless you gave birth to Stretch Armstrong then I wouldn’t doubt rapid growth is fatiguing.

growing-pain

The pain is related to the muscles and ligaments more than it is bones, is almost always in the legs and almost always bilateral, or at least alternating legs each time it happens. Worst of all, it’s almost always at night. If the pain is constant and occurring during the day, it’s probably worth mentioning to your child’s pediatrician. If you notice any rashes or lumps/bumps in the pain area (outside of an isolated injury of course), fevers, or limping around during the day, it needs to be checked out. Growing pains are painful, but aren’t associated with anything you can physically see.

gpains6

So what can you do? Mostly comfort measures. Leg massages, applying heat (a rice sock is amazing for these situations), and making sure they are hydrated. A warm bath before bed can help relax the muscles, and adding a bit of epsom salts (magnesium) can help too. Most literature you will find on growing pains basically states that there’s no definite proof of what causes it and there’s no definite proof of what can relieve it and the comfort measures stated before are recommended. For me personally, when I was pregnant and experiencing leg cramps I know that magnesium and potassium uptake helped so I’ve done this with Declan and it seems to help significantly. Most normal healthy people get enough magnesium from foods, hence why it’s not always added in multivitamins, but given how picky some kids can be, I wouldn’t doubt that they don’t always get in the amount recommended. Magnesium rich foods include dark leafy greens (yeah, I know, I can hear you laughing from here), nuts, seeds, fish, bananas, avocados, and lots more. I’ve noticed a big difference in Declan’s episodes by adding some of these things to a smoothie in the morning. They do have magnesium supplements for children too, but check with your ped first before giving, especially if your child is already taking a multivitamin with magnesium in it.

Most importantly, stretch! Get down on the floor with your child and do some leg stretches. If you’re into yoga, include your child! I am about as capable at yoga as a drunken sloth but I can do leg stretches with Declan and they’ve been enough. Take comfort in knowing that most growing pains happen in the preschool years so it’s not forever.

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All these little things popping up is tough. It feels like there’s always something, you know? Just remember that being a kid is even tougher. So do some stretches, eat some bananas, and I’ll cross my fingers for you tonight.

Caution: Falling Snowflake

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In case any of you were wondering, I’m doing okay. The Blizzard of January 7th was rough on all of us, but we will rebuild. This desert-bum-transplanted-into-the-South will rise again.

Cue jokes about how the North handles the snow vs the South. Ya’ll can joke all you want about us munching on our bread and drinking our milk while a single snowflake falls from the sky but I’d like to see how you handle a tornado. Oh, you don’t get them? Exactly.

Friendly ribbing aside, it’s true that things pretty much shut down out here over snow. In fact, schools were cancelled yesterday and are cancelled again for tomorrow. We got an inch or so on Saturday that promptly melted. That’s it. We’ve had record lows, with our temps not coming above freezing, but that’ll be fixed right quick when it hits 70 by the end of the week. Out here, schools are closed or on delays because our back roads are not treated. We don’t have plows and we don’t have the brine that Charlotte uses on the streets. Even Charlotte isn’t exactly prepared- as a nurse, I was still expected to show up to work in the city this past weekend and while the streets were treated, there wasn’t a soul in sight while I slid my way through that icy-rain. It simply doesn’t make sense to put money toward something that never happens.

That being said, those of us in this position could use some safe driving tips. Those of you who drive through 30 feet of snow every day on their way to work, just humor us here and offer any tips you may have.

-Don’t drive too fast, but also don’t drive too slow. The inchworm like crawl is what leads to jampacked highways, which in turn leads to accidents and stranded drivers. Think this scene from the snow we had in 2014 here in North Carolina:

snow2

Yeah, don’t cause that.

-If you slide, turn into it and don’t brake. Wait till you feel your wheels grip the road and regain control.

-Increase your following distance. It’s gonna take you longer to stop. Which leads to the next tip:

-Don’t stop if you can help it, and if you have to, do it slowly.

-Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Take your time.

-Watch those bridges!

-Make sure you have items in your car you may need if your car breaks down or you slide off the road. Charged phone, flashlight, warm clothing/blankets, etc.

snow3

And pretty much just stay home. Seriously. Schools are closed, a lot of offices are closed, so unless you’re essential personnel, just enjoy it. Sometimes I wonder if the jokes toward the South are slightly based on wishing for a similar “snow-cation”. Everyone needs a day to be “stuck” at home doing nothing, with an excuse for child-like excitement and staring out the windows. Although I suppose when you live where you get multiple feet of snow every winter that isn’t exactly feasible.

We are going on day 4 of “snow effects” even though there’s no snow, and I’m ready for spring. Rivalries aside, I think we can all agree that we can’t wait for warmer weather and sunshine.

 

Stay safe ya’ll. I’ve got a loaf of bread over here if you need it.