Take me home, country roads…

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But not that kind of home. Like, my actual house. Not the eternal home.

Sometimes when it comes to the topic of child safety, I struggle to think of a topic to discuss. Obviously, there are topics that are super important and commonly brought up such as installation, coats in car seats, tether usage, fit to child, etc. However, as I was driving the peaceful winding road to get Liam from school, I paid more attention to the common scene in front of me. Two preteen boys were sitting in the back of a truck on hay bales, each with a wiggly, happy dog held steady by the boys’ knees. As I got closer to the school, I passed the local high school and saw the usual rowdy bunch of kids riding home in the beds of pickup trucks driven by their friends, laughing and smiling in the wind and sunshine. For most people around here, it’s a scene of youth. It’s how it’s always been, and how it will always be.

When we think of child passenger safety, we think of babies. Little kids. Kids in boosters. We don’t often think of those wild, free, tousled hair, uninhibited teenagers. Yet they are at the height of the incredible feeling of invincibility, taking risks left and right and scaring the crud out of their parents. Talking sense into them sometimes feels more difficult than other age groups, and enforcing rules sometimes seems even harder.

As I watch the boys laugh when the truck hits a bump, I wonder about the person driving. I’m assuming it’s the father of one of the boys. I wonder what sets him at ease with having two children in the bed of a truck. Surely it’s not lack of knowledge. Sure, not everyone knows how to install a car seat properly but most everyone knows it’s not safe to ride without a seatbelt or in the bed of a truck. So what is it? Tradition? Culture? Both?

Well obviously, because if you didn’t survive you couldn’t share the meme.

According to the USDOT in 2012, while only 19% of people live in rural areas, 54% of crash fatalities occur on rural roads. Road maintenance, lack of lighting, and roads with only one lane each way probably has a lot to do with it, situations like what I described above may also be contributory. Here in Union County, which straddles both NC and SC, we’ve had more than our share. Just in the last two weeks alone we’ve had 4 people killed after colliding with a tractor-trailer, a person airlifted out after an 18 wheeler (that doesn’t belong on these back roads) smacked into the car, two high school students killed, and just last week my neighbors lost their only daughter after she was rear-ended while sitting at a red light. All within a 10-mile radius. Our roads are beautifully lined with wildflowers and old barns with a history beyond what I can comprehend, but they are also trails of sadness with the multiple crosses, memorials, flowers, and candles.

Insert name here.

Tradition is heavy here. It’s hard to make changes to something that has been commonplace for so long, something that “we’ve all done and are just fine”. Roads change, vehicles change, populations change. Generations change. Every day I see it- farmers are changing from the traditional ways of our grandparents to the innovative and creativity of the younger generation. Our generation craves information, efficiency, new ways of doing things. Hopefully with that will come a recognition of the fact that while some horrible things are out of our control, it’s amazing what knowledge we are armed with to protect ourselves and our children.

I silently willed my thoughts into the rearview mirror of that man driving. Urging him to recognize that one sideswipe or bump in the road is all it takes to change this everyday memory into yet another cross on the side of the road. When driving, we are all one Facebook post away from our own roadside vigil. Tradition runs strong, but nothing says strength like taking knowledge and adapting for survival.

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2017 Britax Endeavours Infant Seat Review – the newest member of the Britax carseat family

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Britax Endeavours Rear-Facing Only Carseat Review

Two years ago, Britax introduced the B-Safe 35 Elite to its infant seat lineup, which includes a deeper shell and more modern design. See our B-Safe 35 Elite review here. Now Britax improves upon the B-Safe 35 Elite design with the Britax Endeavours. The Endeavours still has all the Britax basics: SafeCell Impact Protection in the base, two layers of side impact protection on the carrier shell, large canopy, and ergonomic handle. But it also adds a new steel anti-rebound bar, which can reduce rebound rotation by up to 30% in a frontal crash, and the ability to install the carrier using Euro-style belt routing with the shoulder belt routed behind the carrier.

Weight and Height Limits:
  • Rear-facing 4-35 lbs., AND 32” tall or less, AND child’s head is 1” below top of head rest
B-Safe 35 Overview (New features are marked in bold):
  • Complete Side Impact Protection – deep protective shell is designed to absorb crash forces
  • Steel anti-rebound bar on base that reduces rebound rotation by up to 30%
  • SafeCell impact-absorbing steel frame base – these red cells compress in a crash to absorb crash energy
  • Can be installed without base using standard or Euro-style belt path routing
  • Energy absorbing EPP foam
  • 2 crotch strap/buckle positions (before 11 lbs./after 11 lbs.)
  • Ergonomic handle can be in any of the 4 locked positions in the vehicle
  • Deep seat pan
  • Deluxe push-on style lower LATCH connectors
  • Built-in slide lockoffs for installation with seatbelt
  • Dual recline angle indicators
  • Extra-large canopy
  • Smooth bottom base
  • FAA-approved for use on aircraft
  • 6 yr lifespan before seat expires
  • Made in the USA!
2017 Endeavours Fashions

  

Endeavours Base

If you want to purchase additional Endeavours bases to use in other vehicles, they are available separately for $139.99 in the U.S. and $179.99 in Canada. The Endeavours base is also compatible with current B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite models if you already own one of those seats. The Endeavours base is NOT FAA-approved for use on airplanes but the carrier is.

Measurements:

No re-thread harness with 6 positions: 5”-11 ½”
External widest point: 18”
Width of base at belt path: 13 3/8”
Width of base at widest point: 13 ½”
Internal shell height: 20 ½”
Crotch strap depth: 4”, 6”
Seat depth: 12”
Carrier weight: 11.2 lbs.

Installation

The anti-rebound bar may or may not make contact with your vehicle seat back and that’s OK

2017 RideSafer Travel Vest Review with Delighter Booster: A Dynamic Duo

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Safe Traffic System RideSafer Delight Travel Vest Review with Delighter Booster

The RideSafer Delight Vest and Delighter Booster are the two newest products from Safe Traffic System, Inc. The Delight Vest is the latest in the line that previously included the RideSafer Travel Vest, and is an alternative to a traditional harness or booster car seat that’s excellent for travel, carpool, and other situations where a traditional car seat might be difficult or impossible to use. The Delighter booster is a lightweight backless booster designed with travel in mind that can be used with or without the Delight or previous versions of the RideSafer Travel Vest. They can be purchased at Amazon or Safe Ride 4 Kids.

 

Sizes and Specs:

Delight Vest size Small is for children who are

  • At least 3 years of age
  • 30-60 lbs.
  • 34”-52” tall
  • Chest diameter 21.2”-28.3”
  • Able to sit with the bottom of the vest touching the thighs

Delight Vest size Large if for children who are

  • At least 3 years of age
  • 50-80 lbs.
  • 45”-57” tall
  • Chest diameter 23.2”-38.4”
  • Able to sit with the bottom of the vest touching the thighs

Delighter Booster is for children

  • At least 4 years old*
  • 40-100 lbs.*
  • 40”-57” tall*

*Note: If used with the Delight Vest or other Ride Safer Travel Vest, the Delighter Booster may be used below these minimums, starting at the minimums of the vest instead.

RideSafer Delight Vest Features:

  • FMVSS 213 certified
  • Lightweight and highly portable
  • Comes with travel and storage backpack bag for vest and removeable headrest, and additional small bag for tether and included crotch strap
  • Adjustable back allows about 3” of height adjustments
  • Can be used with 3-point lap and shoulder seatbelt with or without tether
  • Can be used with lap-only belt with tether strap (sold with vest as option or available separately)
  • New, multi-step buckle for lightweight security and ease of caregiver use
  • Lifespan of 10 years from date of manufacture
  • MSRP $145.00 without tether strap, $159.00 with tether strap

When might you use the Delight Vest?

This vest is ideal for travel—it even comes with its own backpack style bag so your child can carry it herself!

Safe and Warm! A review of the Buckle Me Baby Coat

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One of the last posts I wrote was lamenting the end of summer. I apparently spoke too soon because it was like 90 degrees here up until last week, then last night we had tornadoes, and now it’s 72. So…fall? Maybe. It’s that weird weather where it’s freezing in the morning but if you wear long sleeves you are sweating your you-know-what off by the afternoon. However, I know this means that steadily cool weather is not far away, and with it comes this previous desert-dwelling girl’s most hated thing: getting in a cold car.

So what do you do when the weather is cold? Wear a jacket, obviously. But if you’ve been around us for awhile you know the age-old lesson of bulky coats and car seats: NOPE. Jennie has elaborated on this way better than I could in her article on winter coat suggestions. So what the heck are you supposed to do? Well, one option that has recently become available is to purchase a coat specifically made to be worn in a car seat.

Enter an up-and-coming new company called Buckle Me Baby Coats. Based out of New Hampshire, Buckle Me Baby Coats (we’re going to refer to them as BMBC from here on out) was founded by a brilliant and creative mother of 3, Dahlia. She was searching for a way to put her idea in action for years, and after some time and hard work, the coat was born!

The coat comes in six fashions. Blue (Deepest of Oceans), orange (Orange-inal), pink (Power of Pink), purple (Indi-go-go-go), red (I Lava You), and an olive green (The Warrior Within). Declan’s favorite color is red, and since I knew he actually had to like the coat to cooperate with me, Dahlia was nice enough to send me the ‘I Lava You’ fashion.