a long moment of panic

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My son came into my bathroom this morning as I was brushing my teeth. He climbed up on the scale because two inches makes a big difference in your ability to see the mirror when you’re three. This was my brand new digital, checked it against the others at the store and the gym to see if it’s accurate, scale. I watched as the numbers flashed.

0.0
0.0
0.0
33.2

Thirty three?! point two?! He was only 27 lbs at his check-up in December. I knew he’d been gaining weight quickly, but he was only 30.5 lbs last week. This was barely after breakfast. It wasn’t at the end of the day with a full belly and fully clothed like they tell you to weigh your child to determine if he’s outgrown his carseat. He rides rear facing in a Britax Marathon with a 33 lb rf limit.

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Thank God for car-seat.org

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classphoto.jpgIf I had never come across car-seat.org, where would I be now? I’ve been a member of the car-seat.org forums for near on a now and the sheer amount of information I’ve received over that time has been invaluable!

I live in New Zealand, a fair while away from the U.S.A and information on CPS here is just IMPOSSIBLE to find, lacking in consistency and not very expansive. Had I not come across car-seat.org there is so much that I wouldn’t have learnt. Everything I learn, I pass on to others in my country via a CPS website I run for other parents here. With this website, I have reached thousands of parents not only in New Zealand but around the world!

Headrests and Car Seats

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So, it seems I’m the only one who likes to write, lol.  That’s OK.  Guess I’ve just got a lot of hot air to share :D.

There was a post on car-seat.org regarding headrests and car seats.  It’s a frequent problem that headrests stick forward and interfere with the installation of some forward-facing car seats.  These headrests are safe for people because they are closer to heads and reduce injury rates for whiplash and other neck injuries, but they push car seats forward making it so they don’t sit flush against the vehicle seat.  A common practice has been to take the headrest out, flip it around backwards, and reinsert the headrest into position.  Since the headrest is flat on the back, the car seat then sits flat against the vehicle seat.  It also allows the headrest to stay in the vehicle so that if the car seat or booster needs to be removed for an adult passenger, that person has head support.  Otherwise, best practice would be to just remove the headrest.

Sounds great, right?  The perfect solution.  Maybe not. 

Slot heights

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I’ve been noticing over the past, oh, year or so that a lot of online advocates have been telling parents to measure their kids’ torsos to get an idea of which seats would be appropriate for them.  “Sit ’em up against a wall and measure from the floor to their shoulders.”  This is a relatively new way of thinking in this field.  We’ve always been concerned about harness slot height and have always recommended that parents look at car seats with high top harness slots, among other features.

I’ll admit I’ve been a bit skeptical about the accuracy of this method of measurement.  After all, how a child measures against a wall is really quite different vs. how a child measures when they’re sitting in a car seat because the car seat can take on different angles in a vehicle depending on the angle of the vehicle seat and the angle at which the car seat is installed.

I measured my 42″ 4.5 yr old dd today to see how accurate it really is.  She measured 14.75″ from floor to shoulder.  I sat her in a Touriva in the house and she still had about .5″ to go before reaching the middle of the top harness slots (the Touriva has 15″ top harness slots).  Yep, she’s got mom’s short torso and will have fun shopping for jeans that fit later in life :).

So, I guess the method does work, assuming we’re giving out good measurements on seats.