Monthly Archive:: April 2010

Welcome to our New Sponsor, Huggable Images!


Our youngest is nearly 5 years old.  He’s now too big to fit in child safety seats with 40 pound limits, let alone infant carriers.  While sometimes I think we need to have another baby just to model all these great review samples that keep coming, the reality is that it just isn’t going to happen at this point.  I can’t speak for Kecia and Heather, of course, but I know they don’t have any infant models in their families, either!  So, in the past, we’ve enlisted some of the moderators at Car-Seat.Org who have babies to help with reviews.  Fortunately, we have another option.  That’s where our new sponsor is a tremendous help.

Huggable Images is the main supplier of safety training dolls to child passenger safety programs and technicians nationwide.  Their dolls are made to be a typical size and height for the age they represent.  They also tend to have a torso that is a little more resilient to seatbelts and harness straps than the typical toy baby doll, like those I’ve borrowed from my daughter’s room in the past.  They have 6-year and 8-year old dolls to demonstrate boosters and seatbelts.  They have a 3-year and 16-month doll to demonstrate harness systems (shown below).   Their newest doll, a realistic one the same size as a typical 7-lb. newborn, is my personal favorite.  Most of my clients are expectant parents and this doll is great for demonstrating the correct use of an infant seat or a convertible for both first time parents and experienced pros alike!  You can see this doll in the photo above on the left side.  In the middle is their exceptional preemie doll, made to have the same size and weight as a 4 pound preemie.  This one is ideal for hospital and special needs programs.  On the right is their original infant doll.  A little bigger than the newborn doll, with a more Raggity Ann/Andy type of appearance.  We’ll be featuring some of them in future reviews, starting with the Safety 1st Onboard 35 Air next week!

Beyond training dolls for child safety seats, they also make custom plush dolls of all sorts.  These can be specifically designed for a particular need and used for promotions or other events.  They can even be personalized or made with a logo.  We’ve met the owners of Huggable Images at conferences and can highly recommend them for safety dolls and custom plush dolls, too.  So, please visit them at !

Proper Installation of Convertible Carseat on an Ambulance Cot


Sometimes, it’s the upside of a slow carseat check event – the opportunity to “play” with something new.  On this particular warm, sunny, spring day – parents were obviously busy doing something other than coming to the well-publicized check event.  That left us techs with a little free time.  At one point, some of the fabulous volunteers from the local ambulance corp showed up and the conversation quickly turned to transport of pediatric patients in ambulances.  I think I shocked a few of the local techs when I admitted that I had never actually installed a carseat on an ambulance cot (What? Something involving carseats that Kecia has never done??? Alert the presses! LOL)  Yes, I understand how it’s supposed to be done.  I’ve read the research papers and I’ve seen several presentations on the subject at various CPS conferences over the years but I had never actually done it myself.  Well, wouldn’t you know it – a short time later, an ambulance pulls up.  Yes, boys and girls – it’s play time!  😀

2011 Toyota Sienna Review Part 2–Mommy Fun?


Last Friday I posted the first part of my Sienna review, 2011 Toyota Sienna Review Part 1–Mommy Like?, and it included some of the safety features and kid-specific features that you’ll find on the new Sienna minivan.  Today’s part of the review focuses on the fun stuff!

2011 Toyota Sienna Review Part 1–Mommy Like?


What can I say?  Every now and then here at, we get something really awesome thrown our way.  Well, this wasn’t thrown our way, more driven our way.  Semantics aside, I was the lucky one who got the chance to drive the 2011 Toyota Sienna for a week to see if it’s really all that the commercials make it out to be.  I went in to the week with the attitude that after 10 years of owning 2 different Toyota Siennas (a MY 2000 and a MY 2005), I don’t want another minivan.  I’m done driving a bus.  My Siennas have been great, but I’m over the experience.  How do I feel after driving the new 2011?  Stick around and I’ll let you know.