Safety Archive

Lap Babies on Airplane – A Warning All Parents Must See

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Have you ever experienced severe turbulence during a flight? I’m talking way past little bumps and jolts? If you have, chances are you’ll never forget it. I can think of one particular flight out of JFK on a crazy windy Spring morning. My stomach does flips just thinking about it.

Now think about this – the plane can’t take off if my purse is on my lap, right? And there’s like 3 pages of regulations on how the coffee pot needs to be properly secured. But babies? Sure, they can ride totally unsecured because apparently babies are able to defy the laws of physics on an airplane!

Okay, so we know that’s not true. But have you considered what happens to lap babies when the plane suddenly, and without warning, drops several hundred feet in an instant?  This video from NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) really spells it out. Please take a few minutes to check it out and pass on the information to other parents.

 

 

The FAA’s continued allowance of lap babies is shameful and ludicrous. Unfortunately, many parents will continue to take advantage of this “freebie” because it saves them money. Of course, they’ll have to cough up the dough for the Little Prince/Princess to have his or her own seat on the plane once they pass their second birthday. So what’s the big deal with requiring it for all children regardless of age? Traveling is expensive. Heck, kids are expensive!  But please don’t be penny wise and pound foolish when it comes to your most precious cargo.  Buy a ticket for your child regardless of their age, bring a 5-pt harness carseat on board and buckle your child in it just as you would in the car. Your children will not only be safe in case of turbulence or (Heaven forbid) in case you have to make a rough emergency landing but they’ll be happily contained in familiar surroundings. And if you’re really lucky they’ll just fall asleep so you can have a relaxing and, hopefully, uneventful flight.

 

Looking for more helpful information on flying the friendly skies with kids? Check out our related blogs on the subject:

Recommended Carseats for Airplane Travel

Flying with a Car Seat? Know Your Rights!

Airplanes, Carseats, and Kids—What You Need to Know Pt. 1

Airplanes, Carseats, and Kids—What You Need to Know Pt. 2

Carseat Click Tip

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Do you have an infant seat that you’re pulling out of storage for another child? If so, flip the bucket over and check out the harness. Some infant seats (and convertibles too!) have 2 harness lengths from which to choose—a newborn setting and a setting for larger infants/toddlers. If you’re like me, as soon as your child is done with the seat, you promptly stick it in the closet and forget about it without adjusting the straps; but, that means that that when you’re ready to use it again for a newborn, it’s set up for a larger child.

The following picture is from a Graco SnugRide manual (but it’s generic enough to work for other carseats) and it shows the 2 different loops where you can attach the harness to the metal splitter plate on the bottom of the carseat. Working on one side at a time, take the harness off the splitter plate and reattach it using the inside loop to shorten the harness. If you have one of the SnugRide models with a higher harness weight (this doesn’t apply to the SR with a 22 lbs. weight limit), you’ll also be able to adjust the harness length at where the leg straps are attached at the back of the seat. Doing this will mean you’ll be able to tighten the harness properly on a noob.

News: Consumer Reports expresses safety concern over certain Cosco HBB with harness models

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This is NOT a recall (at least not at the moment) but we thought our readers would be interested in these findings based on crash testing conducted on behalf of Consumer Reports.  To be clear, their concerns are only related to the use of the Cosco Highback Toddler/Booster seat in harnessed mode. Consumer Reports notes that they witnessed no issues with this same seat in booster mode.  Here at CarseatBlog we have our own issues with this particular seat when used in booster mode – but our concerns are solely related to proper belt fit.

For the full story, please see:  Consumer Reports recommends replacing older Cosco Highback child car seats

And:  The Cosco Highback car seat: How we tested and what we found

Personally, I’m struggling with this one comment:  “Even with the cracking we observed, we believe the car seat would meet federal safety standards.”  I want to say, “Really”???  Grrr…  I’m both annoyed and disappointed at that possibility.

So, what do our savvy and educated blog readers think?  We know you have an opinion!

 

Buying and Selling Used Carseats: Craigslist (CL), Garage Sales, Online, Friends and Family

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Everyone is looking for a deal. I love getting a good deal on things, though I’m terrible at finding deals. Terrible! But, sometimes you have your eye out and catch a good one. With carseats, how can you tell if it’s truly a deal or a dud?

We had a family come through a carseat checkup event that prompted me to think of this. They were the last car—as all techs know, the last car at an event is usually the one that takes the longest, lol. They were a lower income family of 3 children: a 40 lbs. 2 year old, a 20 lbs. 1 year old, and a 14 week old infant. Since they didn’t have much money, mom went to Craigslist to find carseats for her children. She found a backless Cosco booster for her 2 yr old and a Safety 1st combination seat (with a harness that converts to a booster) for her 1 yr old in used condition. Unfortunately, she didn’t understand that carseats can be recalled, missing pieces, or inappropriate for a particular child. A 2 yr old should NEVER go in a belt-positioning booster seat because they don’t have the maturity to sit properly. So while her backless booster choice was appropriate for a 4-5+ year old (and really, for backless boosters, we prefer much older kids in them because of the lack of side protection and for sleeping), it wasn’t good for her 2 year old. The combination seat is an appropriate choice again for an older child: a 1 yr old should still be rear-facing. The 1 yr old’s seat was under a recall and it was missing a top tether and labels. All things that made us gasp under our breaths. But mom and dad didn’t know any better and we were so glad that the family stopped by so we could help them. From what I’ve seen at our mandatory events—parents are pulled over, they don’t willfully come to an event—buying used carseats is commonplace.