Injuries to Kids on Planes – more food (and drink) for thought

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Yet another reason to use a carseat on an airplane

airplaneI’ve always been a proponent of using carseats on airplanes. Turbulence is a cause of many injuries to adults and children each year and it can’t be anticipated. Parents with lap babies can’t hold their kids with a death-grip hold for an entire plane ride, nor would they want to. Harnessed carseats give kids a comfortable place to sit that fits them, keeps them safe, and allows their parents’ arms to be free for other tasks.

There’s another reason brought up in a recent NPR article that had never occurred to me since I’ve always thought 04-13-things-your-flight-attendant-wont-tell-you-coffeeof the big injuries happening from turbulence—head and spinal injuries. Lap babies—kids under age 2 who can ride for free on planes in their parents laps—can interfere with drink service or tray tables and be burned by hot coffee. In fact, burns from hot drinks cause 39% of kid injuries on a plane. Service carts being pushed down the aisle can also pinch fingers.

“I think this is a really important reminder that the same things you need to worry about at home, you should worry about on a plane,”

– Dr. Benjamin Hoffman

Have you ever had a suitcase dropped on you from an overhead bin? I have. It hurts. Imagine what can happen to a lap child sitting in an aisle seat. Children in carseats are placed next to a window seat, which protects them from falling overhead baggage as well.

Many parents balk at spending money on a ticket for a child under age 2 when it’s not required. The only thing in an airplane that’s not required to be secured during takeoff, landing, and rough, turbulent flight is a child under age 2. What’s wrong with this picture? What magically happens at age 2 that makes that child’s health and life so much more valuable that he must occupy his own seat? Injuries to children on airplanes aren’t terribly common, but they can be reduced to zero by simple use of a carseat. That’s cheaper than the cost of the co-pay to the emergency room in your destination city right there.

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

The Ultimate Guide to What You Want to Take on A Plane

Flying with a Car Seat? Know Your Rights!

Lap Babies on Airplane – A Warning All Parents Must See

Flying with Kids & Carseats – the checked carseat controversy

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And No Carnage from a Bare Tree: Holiday Safety Tips

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burning-tree‘Tis the season for falling off ladders, lighting trees on fire, and cutting fingers on broken ornaments…which is why safety should be at the top of your holiday list. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has created 12 Ways to Celebrate Safely to help you avoid perils this holiday season:

12. Take special care with sharp, weighted, or breakable decorations. Lacerations were among the top reported decoration-related injuries last year.

11. Avoid trimmings that resemble food or candy that may tempt a child to mouth or swallow them.

10. Place decorations with small removable parts that can pose a choking hazard to young children out of reach.

9. Purchase only holiday light sets that bear the marking of a safety testing laboratory.

8. Examine new and old light sets for damage. Discard sets with cracked or broken sockets, frayed or exposed wires, and loose connections.

7. Keep burning candles in sight and away from places where kids and pets can knock them over.

6. Place lighted candles away from items that can catch fire, such as trees, other evergreens, decorations, curtains and furniture.

5. Look for a label that reads “fire resistant” when purchasing an artificial tree. Check live trees for freshness.

cpsc-tree

4. Place live Christmas trees away from heat sources, and keep trees well watered.

3. Watch this dramatic fire demonstration of what happens when a dry tree comes in contact with a heat source.

2. Use caution on ladders. Read our Ladder Safety 101 blog for tips to prevent ladder falls this season. 41% of holiday decorating injuries involve falls. Falls from ladders account for about half of these incidents.

1. Start with safety in mind. Download and follow CPSC’s Holiday Decoration Safety Tips guide.

You’ve got me and I’ve got you.

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The way my husband talks about his Army buddies you’d think they live around the corner and he sees them every day. The truth is he hasn’t seen many of them in over 5 years, and only talks with them every few months. I haven’t questioned him about how he feels so close to them when to an average person it appears that they hardly know each other because I know that it’s just different. Going through deployments with people who literally have your back (and you have theirs!) makes bonds between people a different kind than your average friendship. Literally facing death with another person puts you at a whole different level.

That being said, while I wouldn’t dream of comparing and contrasting parenthood with a lovely deployment in Iraq, I understand the concept of needing someone when times are tough, and having your friendship shaped by those tough times.

There’s something to be said about having a best friend that is down there with you. Deep in those trenches of sleepless nights, tears, frustrations, and body fluids. They understand you, they have your back, and even though they probably don’t know what the heck the answer is either, they share in the search with you.

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I rarely even get to see my best friend. She lives 10 hours away and we have 6 kids between the two of us. But when we do get to see each other, it melds seamlessly into laughter and butt wiping like there hasn’t been any time passing at all. She’s my person. We always joke that we’d be happiest living in a commune being sister wives and just throwing all our kids together and forgetting about who belongs to who. We’ve gotten so good at reading each other that I can tell when she’s irritated purely by the way her punctuation is in her text messages. She just had her 4th baby, sweet little Colin, and I just came back from trying to help her get last minute things together before adding another pup to the pack. Everyone else sees the fun baby stuff, the cute newborn, the perfect Facebook pictures. But we know better. We know the nitty gritty of each other’s lives. We know that just before the nice picture, someone pooped on the driveway. That one of us was crying the night before. That our appliances are all breaking down at once and we’re going broke. That work is killing one of us. That we both have huge wishes and dreams but only a miniscule of a moment and pennies to try to achieve them. We know the real deal. And not only do we love each other in spite of them, we love each other because of them.

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Every parent needs a person. I think sometimes that person doesn’t show up when you think they will, but this whole parenting gig is so much more emotionally stable when you have a person. And for every person out there who doesn’t have that friend, there’s probably also someone out there who doesn’t and is looking. I bet if someone up and made a “I’m 4 Cups of Coffee Deep, My Kid Just Bit Me and Peed on the Cat, I’m Exactly 203 Minutes Late for A Dentist Appointment, and I Just Wish I Had Someone to Commiserate With!” website, similar to a dating platform, they’d totally be on to something. Make yourself a profile and find your match. Find your similarities, and what differences balance each other. Christine and I are like the Yin and Yang of vomit. She hates it, and it totally doesn’t bother me. Perfect balance!! I’ll take the puke, she can take early mornings. Done!

So there is never any question from my husband about how a person I am lucky to see once a year is the topic of so many of my conversations, a big voice in my decisions, and a familiar person to my kids. Sometimes when someone is so entwined in your life, even if in spirit, there isn’t a question. It just is. We’re both fighting the same battle, having each other’s backs, and trying to get everyone out in one piece.

Tell us about your person. Who are they to you, and what makes them a part of you? Is there someone you know that you think could use a person? Maybe it could be you. Reach out!

Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Carseat Review: Raising the Bar

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2016 Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Carseat Review

Grow and Go Blue CoralThe new generation of 3-in-1 carseat from Dorel is here and it’s a solid success in practicality, installation, and fit. From a 5-position no-rethread harness, to protective head wings, to user-friendly features such as harness holders, the Safety 1st Grow and Go shows it’s up to the challenge of taking children from rear-facing through early grade school. Read on to learn how the successor to the aging Alpha Omega Elite platform is raising the bar.

Weight and Height Limits
  • Rear-facing:  5-40 lbs., and child’s head is 1” below top of headrest, and 19-40”
  • Forward-facing: 22-65 lbs., and 29-49”, and at least 1 year old (models made prior to 10/2016 had 2-year age minimum)
  • Belt-positioning booster: 40-100 lbs., 43-52”, and at least 4 years old

What are the differences between the various models of Grow and Go and similar convertibles?

*Tip – turn your phone sideways to see all the columns

Carseat Name RF Weight Limit FF Weight Limit BPB Weight Limit IIHS Rating Features MSRP
Multi-Fit 5-40 lbs. 22-40 lbs. 40-100 lbs. Best Bet Rating Costco exclusive; harness height adjustment levers on headrest; 3-position recline; 1 cup holder $99.99
Ever-Fit 5-40 lbs. 22-40 lbs. 40-100 lbs. Best Bet Rating Sam's Club exclusive; harness height adjustment levers on headrest; 3-position recline; 1 cup holder $99.86
Continuum 5-40 lbs. 22-50 lbs. 40-80 lbs. Best Bet Rating harness height adjustment levers on headrest; 3-position recline; 1 cup holder $149.99
Grow and Go 5-40 lbs. 22-65 lbs. 40-100 lbs. Good Bet Rating harness height adjustment levers on headrest; 3-position recline; 2 cup holders $169.99
Grow and Go Air Sport 5-40 lbs. 22-65 lbs. 40-100 lbs. Best Bet Rating harness height adjustment button on headrest; Air Protect®; cover unsnaps to machine clean and dry; 3-position recline; 1 cup holders $189.99
Grow and Go EX Air 5-50 lbs. 22-65 lbs. 40-100 lbs. Best Bet Rating harness height adjustment button on headrest; Air Protect®; cover unsnaps to machine clean and dry; 3-position recline; 2 cup holders $199.99
Grow and Go Overview
  • No-rethread harness with 5 height positions and a separate infant position
  • 3 crotch strap positions
  • Infant cushion
  • Versatile harness holders
  • Machine washable and dryable cover
  • 2 integrated cup holders
  • IIHS “Good Bet” Rating for booster mode
  • Made in the USA!
Measurements