Monthly Archive:: June 2009

Unclear on The Concept: The Pickup Line


So what’s a beautiful soccer mom like you doing in a minivan like this?…” 

No, not that kind of pickup line.  My son is attending a morning summer school camp.  Like many kids there, he has attended it for years.  For the last couple years, it’s been held at a local elementary school in a residential neighborhood.   The traffic pattern is not unusual.  There is a dropoff/pickup line stretching down the street leading to a right turn into the pickup zone and parking lot.  The pickup lane is clearly painted on the street with a dividing line, a lane marker and also on signs every 50 feet or so.  There are also conditional “No Parking” signs everywhere, though of course they have times on them that correspond to the elementary school pickup and dropoff times, not the times of the summer camp.  The camp sent a map with the packet of materials, clearly showing the traffic pattern and what not to do.

Some people didn’t look at the map. Fair enough.  Many looked at it, but decided they know better.  Typical.  Others may be attending for the first time and decided they would just figure it out on their own, I guess.  Most, I think, are just completely clueless.

A Better Way to Find Info in CR Instruction Manuals?


We just completed a certification class here last week and after a particular homework assignment (yes, I’m the mean instructor that gives homework every night), I had a bright idea.  

First of all, the homework assignment on day 2 was to take home a CR instruction manual and try to find information on:

Crash Replacement

Lifespan/Expiration of CR

Does CR manufacturer allow anything to be placed under the CR to protect the vehicle’s upholstery?

The next morning we went over our findings.  To be honest, I wasn’t surprised by the response.  Many of the students were unable to find all this information even though it’s likely that it was somewhere in the manual.  The problem is that this info is frequently buried and even if you’re specifically looking for it – you might not be able to find it easily.    

Britax Parkway SG Booster Unboxing & Preview


The full review will be next week sometime, but for now you can enjoy the unboxing video and a few sneak peek photos!  You may also visit the Britax USA website for more information on the Britax Parkway SlideGuard high back (and backless too!) booster.


The Parkway SlideGuard will be available soon for around $119 at , and other retailers.

The British Are Coming! The British Are Coming!


In a press release heard ’round the world on Friday, the British Medical Journal announced a new recommendation that children up to age 4 should remain rear-facing in child restraints when riding in a vehicle.  What makes this advice so extraordinary is that researchers are telling health care professionals to advise parents and caregivers that rear-facing seats are safer for children under age 4.  That’s a big step.  Think about it: most babies in the UK are turned forward at around 9 kg.  That’s 19.8 lbs. to you and me here in the States.  Both of my kiddos hit that weight somewhere between 4 and 5 months old (yes, you read that right). 

OK, but really, big deal, right?  They’re finally jumping on the rear-facing bandwagon over there in the UK.  It’s about time, right?  Haven’t we been blowing the rear-facing hot air toward them for a long time?  Our very own American Academy of Pediatrics has been recommending since 2002 that “If a car safety seat accommodates children rear facing to higher weights, for optimal protection, the child should remain rear facing until reaching the maximum weight for the car safety seat, as long as the top of the head is below the top of the seat back.”  Kathleen Weber in her 2000 paper, Crash Protection for Child Passengers, A Review of Best Practice (UMTRI Research Review 31(3):1-27 (2000) ) noted that children were safer rear-facing for as long as possible.  This isn’t a new concept.