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Halloween – The Most Dangerous Night of the Year

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The risk of a child pedestrian being killed by a driver is twice as high on Halloween night.

halloween-pedestrian-safety-graphic-2

If you are driving on Halloween (especially during the hours of 4-8 pm when most young pedestrian deaths occur) please exercise extreme caution and follow these 5 simple tips:

1. Drive slowly and don’t pass stopped vehicles. The driver might be dropping off children.
2. Park your cell phone. Tonight is the worst possible night to be a distracted driver!
3. Watch for children darting into the street. Kids can cross the street anywhere and most young pedestrian deaths happen at spots other than intersections.
4. Always yield to young pedestrians. Children might not stop, either because they don’t see your vehicle approaching or don’t know how to safely cross the street.
5. Communicate with other drivers. Always use your turn signals and if you have to pull over to drop off or pick up your kids, turn on your hazard lights.

Have a Happy & Safe Halloween!

Diono Recalls Certain Radian, Rainier, Olympia & Pacifica Carseat Models

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Diono Radian RXT, Radian R100, Radian R120, Rainier, Pacifica & Olympia Car Seat Recall

Diono is recalling certain Radian R100, Radian R120, Radian RXT, Olympia, Pacifica, and Rainier convertible+booster carseats. Approximately 500,000 seats are affected. When the carseat is secured to the vehicle forward-facing using just a lap belt and without using the top tether, the seat may not adequately protect the child from injury in the event of a crash. As such, these seats do not conform to the specific requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 213. This is a voluntary recall. There are no reported injuries or deaths associated with these seats in these use modes. Owners of affected seats can continue to safely use their Diono carseats until the “recall remedy kits” are mailed out in about 6 weeks.

   

To clarify, only seats made in the date range listed below are recalled and the problem only relates to the installation of these models in the forward-facing position if the seat is installed in an older vehicle with just a lap belt and no top tether. If your Diono convertible was made during the recall period but your seat is installed rear-facing, or if it is installed forward-facing using the tether, you don’t need to be overly concerned but you should make sure your seat is registered with Diono so you can receive your recall remedy kit which will include several items. More on that below.

To determine if your Diono seat is recalled, find the sticker label on the side of the seat which includes the model number and the date of manufacture, then check to see if falls into the date range listed below. If you purchased your Diono convertible seat sometime in the last 4 years, there is a good chance it’s now part of this recall.

Model Name Model Numbers Dates of Manufacture
Diono Radian RXT 16900 or 16000 11/25/2013 – 9/5/2017
Diono Radian R100 16600 or 16000 1/3/2014 – 9/5/2017
Diono Radian R120 16800 or 16000 1/3/2014 – 8/30/2017
Diono Rainier 30300 or 30000 4/12/2014 – 9/5/2017
Diono Pacifica 30400 or 30000 3/5/2014 – 5/24/2016
Diono Olympia 30100 or 30000 4/12/2014 – 3/03/2015

My seat is affected by this recall. Now what?

The recall is expected to begin November 22, 2017. At that time Diono will begin notifying registered owners and will provide a free remedy kit to those who request it. If you know that you never registered your Diono carseat, you can register it online here. If you’re not sure, you can contact Diono customer service at 1-855-215-4951 to confirm the registration and to make sure they have your current mailing address. 

The remedy kits won’t be ready to ship until the end of November.

What will the Remedy Kit contain?

The free remedy kit will contain an updated instruction manual, an energy-absorbing EPP foam insert that goes under the child and a new style of chest clip. These additions are only necessary when installing your Diono carseat forward-facing with a lap-only seatbelt and no top tether. This is an unlikely scenario for most parents unless you drive a vehicle more than 15 years old, or a school bus.

Do I really need the Remedy Kit?

If you are currently using your Diono carseats forward-facing in a seating position with just a lap belt and no top tether, you will want to add the EPP foam insert and new chest clip as soon as possible. Or, better yet, look for a different seating position that may have a tether anchor you can use!

For the vast majority of Diono carseat owners who are either using their seat rear-facing or have it tethered forward-facing, you don’t really need the remedy kit but should probably order it anyway just in case you wind up needing to install your seat in an old vehicle with lap belts and no tether anchors someday.  Or, maybe on a school bus. 🙂

You can pre-order a remedy kit by calling Diono customer service at 1-855-215-4951. Just keep in mind that the remedy kit won’t ship until late November or December.

Additional information from the Diono website:

https://us.diono.com/safety-notice/

Diono is a leading designer and manufacturer of child safety seats and other juvenile products.  We are committed to improving safety for babies and young children traveling in cars.  As a result of our rigorous quality control, and ongoing product testing, we have established that if our convertible child safety seat is installed forward-facing in vehicles with a lap-belt (type 1) only without top tether, it crosses into a technical non-compliance.  If our convertible child safety seat is being used with a lap and shoulder safety belt (type 2) or with our SuperLATCH system, or top tether the child safety seat is unaffected.

Please Note: In September of 2005 a U.S. law passed requiring a three-point belt in every back seat for all cars manufactured after 2007 – most vehicle manufacturers complied well before that date.

It is highly unlikely that you will be affected by this voluntary recall.  To check if you are, please answer the following questions.

A) Is your child safety seat installed forward-facing with the lap and shoulder belt, or with our SuperLATCH system, or using the top tether?  If the answer is yes you are unaffected by this notice.

B) Is your child safety seat installed forward-facing with the lap belt only and top tether. If the answer is yes you are unaffected by this notice.

C) Is your child safety seat installed forward-facing with the lap belt only? If the answer is yes, you might be affected by this notice.

If the answer to C is yes you are only affected if your seat was manufactured after 11/25/13.  You will be able to locate this information on the manufacturer’s label on the product.

The Diono Safety Team is ready to assist any concerns, questions and inquiries from concerned parents, customers or advocates who need our support while we implement this voluntary recall. We have a toll-free number set up for any consumer inquiries 1-855-463-4666.

Halloween *GIVEAWAY* – Stroller Costumes!

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We discovered Stroller Costumes at the JPMA trade show earlier this year and we thought it was a super cute idea! Why should humans (and pets) have all the fun dressing up for Halloween? Doesn’t your stroller deserve some attention too as you meander through the neighborhood with your costumed munchkins? We think it does, so we’ve partnered with Stroller Costumes for a fun Halloween Giveaway! Winner has their choice of available costumes!

Stroller Costumes was actually designed by a dad whose kids went through the stroller-hating phase. I think many of us can relate to that experience! Lol. If your child is currently rebelling against the stroller but will gladly ride in a store shopping cart which looks like a race car or a cozy coupe – this product could make stroller time tolerable again. It’s also a fun way to distinguish your stroller from the dozens of other strollers in theme parks!

Available Stroller Costume Styles:

Current Stroller Costume styles include Fire Truck, Police Car, Princess Carriage, Red Race Car, Pink Race Car & Dump Truck.

What kind of strollers are compatible with a Stroller Costume?

Almost any single stroller with a front tray or napper bar is compatible. You need the front tray/bar because that is one of the attachment points for the costume. The other two attachment points are the lower sections of the stroller’s handle bar.

How to Enter our Stroller Costumes Giveaway:

  • Leave us a comment below telling us which costume style your child would love (comment required to be eligible to win), then click on Rafflecopter to qualify yourself.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now for the fine print – winner must have U.S. shipping address to claim the prize. Only one prize will be awarded in winner’s choice of style. 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 for any reason. The contest will close on Monday, October 16, 2017, and one random winner will be chosen shortly thereafter. If a winner is deemed ineligible based on shipping restrictions or other issues or does not respond to accept the prize within 2 days, a new winner will be selected. Good luck!

 

2017 Recommended Carseats for Airplane Travel

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It’s the travel season and for many families with small children, that includes flying somewhere. Since so many carseats are heavy and bulky, it makes sense in some cases to invest in a lightweight carseat just for traveling. Plus, this spares you the hassle of re-installing your main carseat when you get back to your own car, weary from traveling.

 

Ideally, a spare travel carseat should be lightweight (under 15 lbs), easy to install with the lap-only belt on an airplane seat and narrow enough to fit in a typical coach seat. With those criteria in mind, here are several options to consider.

Infant carseats – no need to buy anything new as long as your current infant seat can be installed without the base. I guess it’s possible to drag the base with you on the plane but that’s just making life harder than it needs to be. As long as your infant seat allows installation without the base (most do but there are some exceptions so make sure you know for sure), it’s easy to install the carrier rear-facing with the lap-only belt on the plane.

KF-airplane  Toddler on plane

If you’re leaving the base at home – make sure you practice baseless installation a few times so when you arrive at your destination you know how to install the carseat properly in the car, using a typical lap/shoulder belt.  Here is a video that demonstrates my technique for quick and easy installations of an infant carseat without the base.

Stay clear of products like THIS and THIS. These products are NOT acceptable alternatives to using an actual carseat on the plane to restrain your child. Along the same lines – using a sling or infant carrier also isn’t a safe alternative for your baby or toddler because you aren’t allowed to wear your child during take-offs or landings when the risks are highest. There is a good reason for this but the details are ugly so I’m not going to go into it right now. If you would like more info on why slings and infant carriers are not a safe alternative to using a carseat on a plane, please see the NTSB website.

Baby B'Air vest - NO  Airplane hammock

UPDATED OCTOBER 2017

Convertible seats – if you intend to install the convertible seat rear-facing on the plane then you’ll be best served by a seat that is fairly compact which will increase your chances of the seat actually fitting rear-facing in the space you have to work with.

 

Cosco Scenera Next - stockCosco Scenera NEXT:

Rear-facing 5-40 lbs., or up to 40″ tall. Forward-facing 22-40 lbs., or up to 40″ tall

 

 

Evenflo Tribute - MaxwellEvenflo Tribute:

Rear-facing 5-40 lbs., or up to 37″ tall. Forward-facing 22-40 lbs., or up to 40″ tall

 

 

Graco Contender - Glacier

Graco Contender:

Rear-facing 5-40 lbs. (won’t be outgrown by height in the RF position before child hits 40 lbs.). Forward-facing 20-65 lbs., or up to 49″ tall.

 

 

Safety 1st Guide 65 - seaport fashionSafety 1st Guide 65:

Rear-facing 5-40 lbs, or up to 40″ tall. Forward-facing 22-65 lbs, or up to 43″ tall

 

 

No matter which seat you decide to take on the plane for your child – you will want to know where the FAA approval language is stated in case one of the flight attendants asks to see proof that your carseat is certified for use in an aircraft. Look for RED lettering on one of the sticker labels on the carseat. The FAA language is required to be written in red. The language can vary slightly but in general, this is what you’re looking for:

Pria 85 - FAA certification  Evenflo Symphony FAA certification - cropped Britax B-Safe 35 Elite - FAA certification 

 

For forward-facing kids, you’ll be best served by a seat that’s lightweight, fairly narrow, with tall top harness slots and a weight limit of 50 lbs. or more. Keep in mind that combination seats (aka harness/booster) can only be used on the plane in harnessed mode. Booster seats (or combination seats used without the 5-pt harness in booster mode) are not FAA certified and cannot be used on an airplane because all booster seats require a lap/shoulder belt, which airplanes don’t have.

Cosco Finale

Forward-facing only for kids who weigh at least 30 pounds. With 5-point harness from 30-65 lbs., 32″-50″ tall.

 

 

 Keller

Evenflo Maestro:

Forward-facing only for kids at least 2 years old. With 5-point harness from 22-50 lbs., up to 50″ tall

 

 

 300 Loy

Evenflo Secure Kid LX:

Forward-facing only for kids at least 2 years old. With 5-point harness from 22-65 lbs., up to 50″ tall

 

 

Evenflo Sonus

Rear-facing 5-40 lbs., or up to 40″ tall. Forward-facing for children at least 2 years old, 22-50 lbs., up to 50″ tall

 

 

Evenflo SureRide:

Rear-facing 5-40 lbs., or up to 40″ tall. Forward-facing for children at least 2 years old, 22-65 lbs., or up to 54″ tall

 

Graco ContenderGraco Contender:

Rear-facing 5-40 lbs., Forward-facing for children at least 1 year old, 22-65 lbs., or up to 49″ tall. *Forward-facing beltpath is behind the back of the shell. This unique design means your FF child won’t have the metal latchplate of the airplane seatbelt in their back during the flight.

 

Safety 1st Guide 65 Safety 1st Guide 65:

Rear-facing 5-40 lbs., or up to 40″ tall. Forward-facing for children at least 1 year old, 22-65 lbs., up to 43″ tall

 

 

CARES Harness*:

A unique product for kids over 1 year old who weigh between 22-44 lbs., and are under 40″ tall. *CARES harness is certified for use ONLY on the plane. It cannot be used in motor vehicles. It’s very useful for situations where you don’t need a carseat to use on the ground when you arrive at your destination. We have a review of the CARES Harness here.

 

If you want to travel with your usual carseat, or just want to make it easier to travel with any carseat in general  – there are many products that can help you transport it through the airport and onto the plane. Some are just generic luggage carts – other products like the Brica Roll ‘n Go Carseat Transporter, the Go-Go Travelmate products and the Traveling Toddler Strap are made specifically for a carseat.  There are also carseat travel bags with wheels but obviously you can’t put your kid inside it too. Britax, Peg Perego, Clek & Diono all make travel accessories specifically for their carseats too.

go-go babyz used go-go babyz travel strap used

Remember, only carseats with an internal harness can be used on a plane. You cannot use a booster seat on an airplane because booster seats require a lap/shoulder belt and airplanes only have lap belts. If your child rides in a booster seat and you are bringing it with you, you can gate check it or bring it on the plane and put it in the overhead bin (if it fits).

For more info on flying with kids and carseats – check out our related blogs on the subject:

Carseat on airplane

Lap Babies on Airplane – A Warning All Parents Must See

Flying with a Car Seat? Know Your Rights!

Flying with Kids & Carseats – the checked carseat controversy

Travel Carseats: The Ultimate Guide to What You Want to Take on A Plane

An Open Letter to the FAA