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National Child Vehicular Heatstroke Prevention Day

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Today is National Child Vehicular Heatstroke Prevention Day. That might sound like a mouthful, but it’s an important topic. Summer hasn’t even officially begun yet, but almost every day there have been news stories about children being rescued from hot cars—and about children who were not able to be rescued. Just the other day, it happened to the son of a New York police officer.

If you think you’re too good a parent to accidentally leave a child in a hot car, you’re wrong. We posted a piece two weeks ago about how this kind of thing can—and does—happen to loving, attentive parents. If you haven’t read it, it’s worth a look. If you have read it, read it again and share it with people who claim it can never happen to them.

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Memorial Day Remembrance

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Memorial Day Meme

Bumper Bullies

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People have been doing it since automobiles first appeared on roads.  We’ve all probably been guilty of tailgating the car in front of us from time to time.  I’ve certainly followed slow drivers too closely, though never unsafely close like many drivers I’ve seen (my wife may disagree…)  On at least one road near my house, it seems far more than isolated cases of being very late to an appointment.  It’s more like an epidemic of road-ragers and just plain inconsiderate and unsafe drivers.

The main route through our subdivision is a 4-lane city road.  Our stretch of this road is at least a few miles long of only residential areas, and so no large trucks are allowed.  The speed limit is 35 mph for miles in either direction and signs are posted frequently.  The problem is that this road goes from one end of town to the other, from the interstate highway to all the residences in the south end of town.  That apparently is the only excuse needed for drivers to be in a big hurry, all day, every day.

Where my street ends at this road is our school district’s new pre-K school that also serves children with disabilities.  That serves as no deterrent to speeders, lane weavers and bumper bullies.  I drive this road frequently, and if it is anywhere close to rush hour, there is someone so close to my rear bumper that I can’t see their headlights in my mirrors.   And it doesn’t seem to matter how fast I’m driving, someone is always on my bumper trying to bully me to drive faster.

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My response is to then drive EXACTLY 35 mph until my turn, but the bullies never take a hint about their unsafe driving.  For most, they simply look for an opportunity to be even less safe.  They swerve into the other lane to cut off another car, then speed past me until they get on the bumper of yet another vehicle and have to slow down again a few seconds later.  Or, they have to jam on the brakes at the next traffic signal behind another group of cars they will unsafely tailgate to repeat the cycle.

From expressway until the road ends, it’s about 7 miles long.  Considering all the stoplights and traffic, it’s unlikely the bullies can average 10 miles per hour faster than safe drivers, even if they do manage to go 50mph or faster for short stretches.  A savings of perhaps a few minutes in a best case scenario, but realistically only a minute or two.  Is it really worth it?  Not only being an idiot and contributing to their own stress and blood pressure levels, but endangering other drivers, their own passengers and pedestrians, too?

 

Kiddy World Plus Recall

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Kiddy World Plus Recall

This recall of the Kiddy World Plus is for a compliance failure issue such that, “A partially engaged buckle will not adequately restrain the child in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of injury.”  As there is currently no remedy or official company website notice, CarseatBlog advises parents to immediately discontinue using their Kiddy World Plus with the protection shield for children above 1 year old and between 22-40 lbs.  This applies ONLY to model 51 100 WP manufactured between July 2, 2012 and October 5, 2013.  Stop using the carseat as a toddler seat with protection shield and contact Kiddy USA at 1-855-92KIDDY for further instructions regarding acceptable methods of installation and use.

For children between 40-110 pounds, and 40 to 57 in. tall,  the World Plus may continue to be safely used as a high back booster car seat per the instruction manual.  CarseatBlog further recommends that children be restrained in a carseat with a 5-point harness until they are 4 years old AND above 40 pounds.

Over 1,429 Kiddy World Plus carseats are affected.

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From the NHTSA:

SUMMARY:

Kiddy USA (Kiddy) is recalling certain World Plus combination forward facing child restraints that convert to a high back booster seat, model 51 100 WP, manufactured from July 2, 2012, through October 5, 2013. The buckle/tongue on the affected booster seats may only partially engage. As a result, the consumer may have a false impression that the buckle is fully latched when it is not. As such, these seats fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 213, “Child Restraint Systems.”

CONSEQUENCE:

A partially engaged buckle will not adequately restrain the child in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of injury.

REMEDY:

The remedy for this recall is still under development. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact Kiddy customer service at 1-855-92KIDDY (1-855-925-4339).

NOTES:

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.