Monthly Archive:: September 2009

First Photos From ABC Kids Expo


Though the show doesn’t start ’till Sunday, Saturday afternoon is the new product showcase.  You get wine, cheese and lovely appetizers.  Oh, and there’s some products on tables, too.  Last year, we got a peek at the Clek Olli booster at the showcase.  This year, there were a few more carseat related items.  Some you’ve probably seen, others maybe you haven’t.  There’s no one at the showcase to answer questions or give information.  So, all I’ve got for tonight is a dozen photos.  Tomorrow we start early with manufacturers.  Kecia has already posted news from Sunshine Kids, spoiling our ABC thunder!  They’re first among our appointments tomorrow.  Others for Sunday include Britax, Evenflo, Cybex, Clek and Orbit.  Stay tuned for any new press releases!  In the mean time, these photos will have to satisfy your curiousity.  Keep in mind that some of these may be prototypes and not indicative of final product appearance or quality.  Others maybe retail samples.  Enjoy!

Britax AdvocateBritax Chaperone Travel SystemTrends For Kids Twinner Twist Duo Double with Carseat Adaptors

firstSeat RevolutionfirstSeat Revolution 2Safety 1st Complete Air

Kiddy  Infant Seat and BoosterKiddy Kiddyfix/MaxifixKiddy World Plus

The Carseat BlankieBabba CoverHead Snuggler

New Radian SUPER LATCH (SL) connectors from Sunshine Kids


I returned yesterday from a regional CPS Conference in Lancaster, PA that was well attended and very informative.  I had the pleasure of chatting with Russ from Sunshine Kids while I was there and he showed off the new SUPER LATCH (SL) lower anchor connector that will debut in a few weeks on all new Radian SL models (65, 80 & XT).  SUPER LATCH will allow consumers of these new Radian SL models to use the specialized LATCH attachments up to the full weight capacity of the Radian carseat (up to 65 lbs for Radian65 SL and up to 80 lbs for Radian80 SL & Radian XTSL).  However, this will be allowed if, AND ONLY IF, the vehicle was manufactured after Sept 1, 2005.  This is very important to note because if the vehicle was made prior to this date then you will NOT be able to use the SUPER LATCH system up to the full weight capacity of the Radian SL model.  In these cases it is imperative that you default to the vehicle manufacturers’ listed weight limits for lower anchors which is usually 40 or 48 lbs.  This is due to the fact that there was a regulatory change in vehicle LATCH anchor testing (FMVSS 225) that required the lower anchors in vehicles to pass a tougher “pull test” after this date.
Additionally, Radian80 SL & RadianXT SL models will also be rated to 45 lbs in the rear-facing position which is a first for any US manufacturer. 


Here is a video of Russ showing the new Sunshine Kids SUPER LATCH lower anchor connector:



MattOur guest blogger, Matt, makes another appearance.

So Heather and I were in Costco the other day.  We love Costco.  Costco provides a good, real-world example of orders of magnitude.  You go there with a list, and the number of items that you leave with can often be expressed as follows (where X= the number of items on your list):













2010 Toyota Prius Review: Kids and Safety



We’d like to do more full new car reviews.  After all, the vehicle is at least half of the equation when it comes to protecting children in motor vehicle crashes.  Of course, the problem is that it’s a lot more difficult to obtain review samples of cars than carseats.  Someday, perhaps a wise, new media marketing exec will happen across this review and recognize an opportunity to promote kids, family and safety in their vehicle;-)

priusrear We bit the bullet again on an “all new” model, this time a third generation 2010 Toyota Prius.  We have a history of such questionable choices.  I mean, the smart thing to do would be to buy a proven, low miles, 2008 or 2009 Prius, right?  My 1991 Saturn SL2 was really all new from scratch, as was my wife’s Chrysler Cirrus that we bought in its debut year.  The 2000 Subaru Outback we swapped for the Prius was “all new” as well, though more like the Prius in that there was a previous generation that shared some systems.  Those cars were all decent, but each had its share of quirks and issues.  While none were reliability nightmares, not one of them was exceedingly reliable, either.

Our Prius has more things in common with the Outback it replaced.  Back in the summer of 1999, the new 2000 Outback had just been released.  Models were hard to find initially.  Many dealers were short on supply and it was hard to find the trim level we wanted (base wagon with cold weather package).  Local dealers wouldn’t actually deal, either.  We took the Cirrus to the local Carmax for a quote to use in our negotiations.  They mentioned that their new car dealer in Kenosha, Wisconsin sold new Subarus.  A call confirmed they even had a couple of the trim level we wanted at a better price.  The trade-in offer was generous, so off we went and back we came with a new car.

It wasn’t so different with the 3rd gen Prius.  They were very hard to find in the Chicago west suburbs during the peak of Cash for Clunkers.  It was a bad time to be buying, but the Outback needed to go.  The very few Prius in stock at local dealers were all higher level trim versions and no one was willing to allow test drives.  It seemed we’d have been lucky to pay full MSRP and accept one that is coming in a few weeks, sight unseen.  On a whim, I looked on the Carmax website on a Sunday night and found one.  A call Monday morning verified it was in stock and the salesman (Dan B) promised to hold it until we could get there that evening.  And he did!  Plus, it was $500 under MSRP.