Halloween – The Most Dangerous Night of the Year

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The risk of a child pedestrian being killed by a driver is twice as high on Halloween night.

halloween-pedestrian-safety-graphic-2

If you are driving on Halloween (especially during the hours of 4-8 pm when most young pedestrian deaths occur) please exercise extreme caution and follow these 5 simple tips:

1. Drive slowly and don’t pass stopped vehicles. The driver might be dropping off children.
2. Park your cell phone. Tonight is the worst possible night to be a distracted driver!
3. Watch for children darting into the street. Kids can cross the street anywhere and most young pedestrian deaths happen at spots other than intersections.
4. Always yield to young pedestrians. Children might not stop, either because they don’t see your vehicle approaching or don’t know how to safely cross the street.
5. Communicate with other drivers. Always use your turn signals and if you have to pull over to drop off or pick up your kids, turn on your hazard lights.

Have a Happy & Safe Halloween!
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2017 ABC Kids Expo Recap – New Carseats, Strollers & Gear for 2018

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This year’s ABC Kids Expo was a little smaller than in years past. A few major manufacturers didn’t attend and there weren’t a slew of new products, but there was still plenty to see and we always have a blast with our industry friends and colleagues!

CarseatBlog Team – Heather, Jennie, Kecia & Darren

Here’s a recap of this year’s show:

Britax

The newest car seat from Britax is the Endeavours, a rear-facing-only infant seat based on the B-Safe 35 Elite. What sets Endeavours apart is that it has an anti-rebound bar on the base and a European (around-the-back) seatbelt routing option. The mesh on the anti-rebound bar is removable for washing and will help keep kids from wedging their feet behind the bar. The base for the Endeavours is compatible with current B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite infant carseats, so if a consumer already owns one of those current models they can purchase the Endeavours base separately to use with the compatible Britax infant seat they already own. 

Britax has also launched the Spark collection for their existing seats. These seats have upgraded softgoods and will be available exclusively at the Brixy line of independent retailers.

On the stroller front, Britax has a new stroller called the B-Free. This stroller has tons of storage, including seven pockets and a basket that can be reached from the front or back. It has a single front wheel, a large canopy, and–best of all–has a 65-pound weight limit! It will retail for $349, and will also be available as part of a travel system with the Endeavours.

Chicco

NextFit iX is replacing the original NextFit model. New 2018 fashions are coming soon for all Chicco carseats (KeyFit, Fit2, NextFit iX) and KidFit boosters. There is a new product coming in 1st quarter 2018 that we can’t talk about (yet) but we’ll share that info as soon as we get the green light to do so.

 

Clek

We’re still anxiously awaiting clek’s new infant seat, but in the meantime, they have some neat new covers.

The first is a merino wool cover that is naturally flame-retardant, meaning that it meets flammability standards with no added chemicals in the fabric or foam. Clek is still deciding whether to go with the lighter or darker gray, so stay tuned. Price will run $429-$499 for convertibles.

Clek is also coming out with a tokidoki unicorn print called unicorn disco. These are bold, rockin’ unicorns rather than the typical fancy pastel kind. The unicorn seats should be available in the first quarter of 2018. Unicorn Disco Foonfs will retail for $499, Oobrs for $349, and Ollis for $129.

    

Cybex/gb

We can’t wait for the launch of the Sirona M, the upcoming convertible seat from Cybex. Not much has changed with Sirona M since the last time we wrote about it, but we do have more details on the technology that will set it apart from other high-end convertibles. Sirona M will employ a system similar to the Evenflo SensorSafe system that uses a dongle (that’s a word for it–really) to connect with the car’s On Board Diagnostic (OBD II) port. A chime will sound when the car is turned off with a child in the seat (it knows when the chest clip is buckled) so it can help reduce accidental hot-car deaths.

   

That’s not where the technology stops, though. The Sirona M’s app aims to eliminate misuse by making things easier for parents. It will have videos and instructions to help parents install and adjust their seats properly. An interactive feature will allow caregivers to enter the year, make, and model of their car, and the app will tell them if they’re allowed to use lower anchors in the center position. Based on information the parent enters about their child, the app can send reminders when it expects children to reach certain milestones (like weight limits) that might require parents to make adjustments to the seat.

No technology is foolproof, but with people being more reliant on it than ever, we’re excited that Cybex is making advances that could be very useful–or even lifesaving!

New designer fashion collection from Anna K for some existing Cybex products include the Space Rocket collection. It’s pretty rare to find images on carseats these days, so this should appeal to a lot of parents who are looking for something a bit different (and delightfully nerdy!).

 

 

In strollers, gb has created a new version of its folding Pockit stroller: the Pockit+ (Pocket Plus). Pocket+ has a larger, UV-rated canopy, is slightly wider, and can accommodate a carrycot as well as Cybex infant seats with adapters. It still folds-up to a teeny-tiny size that’s just 2″ wider than the original Pockit. Pockit + should be available at the end of January for $279.

 

Cybex also has a cool new stroller, EEZY S TWIST. A simple lever allows caregivers to quickly swivel the seat from front- to back-facing in a matter of seconds. It holds a child weighing up to 55 lbs. while the stroller itself weighs less than 17 lbs. Available in the 1st quarter of 2018 for $299.

Cybex is also launching a new baby carrier, Yema. The sophisticated fabric is designed to mimic a luxury handbag or fine suit. It has strong hook-and-loop closures that allow parents to easily adjust the length and width of the carrier to fit babies of different sizes. A tuck-away hood can add extra protection for baby, and hidden buckles help maintain a sleek look. Yema will retail for $135.

Graco/Baby Jogger

Diono Recalls Certain Radian, Rainier, Olympia & Pacifica Carseat Models

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Diono Radian RXT, Radian R100, Radian R120, Rainier, Pacifica & Olympia Car Seat Recall

Diono is recalling certain Radian R100, Radian R120, Radian RXT, Olympia, Pacifica, and Rainier convertible+booster carseats. Approximately 500,000 seats are affected. When the carseat is secured to the vehicle forward-facing using just a lap belt and without using the top tether, the seat may not adequately protect the child from injury in the event of a crash. As such, these seats do not conform to the specific requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 213. This is a voluntary recall. There are no reported injuries or deaths associated with these seats in these use modes. Owners of affected seats can continue to safely use their Diono carseats until the “recall remedy kits” are mailed out in about 6 weeks.

   

To clarify, only seats made in the date range listed below are recalled and the problem only relates to the installation of these models in the forward-facing position if the seat is installed in an older vehicle with just a lap belt and no top tether. If your Diono convertible was made during the recall period but your seat is installed rear-facing, or if it is installed forward-facing using the tether, you don’t need to be overly concerned but you should make sure your seat is registered with Diono so you can receive your recall remedy kit which will include several items. More on that below.

To determine if your Diono seat is recalled, find the sticker label on the side of the seat which includes the model number and the date of manufacture, then check to see if falls into the date range listed below. If you purchased your Diono convertible seat sometime in the last 4 years, there is a good chance it’s now part of this recall.

Model Name Model Numbers Dates of Manufacture
Diono Radian RXT 16900 or 16000 11/25/2013 – 9/5/2017
Diono Radian R100 16600 or 16000 1/3/2014 – 9/5/2017
Diono Radian R120 16800 or 16000 1/3/2014 – 8/30/2017
Diono Rainier 30300 or 30000 4/12/2014 – 9/5/2017
Diono Pacifica 30400 or 30000 3/5/2014 – 5/24/2016
Diono Olympia 30100 or 30000 4/12/2014 – 3/03/2015

My seat is affected by this recall. Now what?

The recall is expected to begin November 22, 2017. At that time Diono will begin notifying registered owners and will provide a free remedy kit to those who request it. If you know that you never registered your Diono carseat, you can register it online here. If you’re not sure, you can contact Diono customer service at 1-855-215-4951 to confirm the registration and to make sure they have your current mailing address. 

The remedy kits won’t be ready to ship until the end of November.

What will the Remedy Kit contain?

The free remedy kit will contain an updated instruction manual, an energy-absorbing EPP foam insert that goes under the child and a new style of chest clip. These additions are only necessary when installing your Diono carseat forward-facing with a lap-only seatbelt and no top tether. This is an unlikely scenario for most parents unless you drive a vehicle more than 15 years old, or a school bus.

Do I really need the Remedy Kit?

If you are currently using your Diono carseats forward-facing in a seating position with just a lap belt and no top tether, you will want to add the EPP foam insert and new chest clip as soon as possible. Or, better yet, look for a different seating position that may have a tether anchor you can use!

For the vast majority of Diono carseat owners who are either using their seat rear-facing or have it tethered forward-facing, you don’t really need the remedy kit but should probably order it anyway just in case you wind up needing to install your seat in an old vehicle with lap belts and no tether anchors someday.  Or, maybe on a school bus. 🙂

You can pre-order a remedy kit by calling Diono customer service at 1-855-215-4951. Just keep in mind that the remedy kit won’t ship until late November or December.

Additional information from the Diono website:

https://us.diono.com/safety-notice/

Diono is a leading designer and manufacturer of child safety seats and other juvenile products.  We are committed to improving safety for babies and young children traveling in cars.  As a result of our rigorous quality control, and ongoing product testing, we have established that if our convertible child safety seat is installed forward-facing in vehicles with a lap-belt (type 1) only without top tether, it crosses into a technical non-compliance.  If our convertible child safety seat is being used with a lap and shoulder safety belt (type 2) or with our SuperLATCH system, or top tether the child safety seat is unaffected.

Please Note: In September of 2005 a U.S. law passed requiring a three-point belt in every back seat for all cars manufactured after 2007 – most vehicle manufacturers complied well before that date.

It is highly unlikely that you will be affected by this voluntary recall.  To check if you are, please answer the following questions.

A) Is your child safety seat installed forward-facing with the lap and shoulder belt, or with our SuperLATCH system, or using the top tether?  If the answer is yes you are unaffected by this notice.

B) Is your child safety seat installed forward-facing with the lap belt only and top tether. If the answer is yes you are unaffected by this notice.

C) Is your child safety seat installed forward-facing with the lap belt only? If the answer is yes, you might be affected by this notice.

If the answer to C is yes you are only affected if your seat was manufactured after 11/25/13.  You will be able to locate this information on the manufacturer’s label on the product.

The Diono Safety Team is ready to assist any concerns, questions and inquiries from concerned parents, customers or advocates who need our support while we implement this voluntary recall. We have a toll-free number set up for any consumer inquiries 1-855-463-4666.

Top 5 Tips for Sharing Carseat Tips with Friends

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Imagine how you deal with the awkward situation of having to tell someone you’re talking with that they have food stuck in their teeth.

Maybe you can’t imagine this because you’ve made the decision to never, ever, tell anyone about the spinach bits wedged between their incisors. Or maybe you are someone who doesn’t even squirm at the thought of broaching the subject because you have decided in advance to always, always, bring attention to the issue; swiftly and smoothly:

“Oh look, you have something from your breakfast smoothie stuck in your teeth!”

“Oh.” Wipes teeth with tongue.  “Did I get it?”

“No, not that side, the other side”

“Here?”

“Yep, oh… still there.  Here try some water.”

“Still?”

“Okay, you may just want to run to the bathroom to check it out in the mirror…”

I weigh the pros and cons of both approaches and still can’t decide which is better. If I don’t say anything, and we chat for an hour, then someone more brazen than I joins the conversation and tells them, then they’ll ask me, “Oh, why didn’t you tell me? I feel stupid you let me carry on like that!” Or, I could quickly point it out the second I notice it, participate in the whole teeth-washing fiasco, just to discover it’s ruined our pleasant visit.  

You can imagine how my indecisiveness about manners manifests itself similarly when, as a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, I see carseat misuse by close friends. In the scenario of deciding if I’ll tell my friend that an infant seat base is not supposed to slide off the vehicle seat on every curve, the stakes are a bit higher.

On the one hand, commenting on how a mom chooses, uses, and installs her child’s carseat, risks leaving her feeling ashamed and defensive. But on the other hand, I could ignore the safety issues and feel responsible if, in a collision, the seat doesn’t provide the highest level of protection. Which, gathering from the fact that she spent $200 on a carseat and uses it regularly, she does intend to glean the most safety benefits possible from it! 

She may actually want to know sooner rather than later if something is stuck in her teeth.

My strategy is still a work in progress but, here’s how I am choosing to share my carseat safety knowledge with friends:

  1. Assume parents are doing their very best.
  2. Express admiration for the things they are doing right.
  3. Show solutions to the most pressing safety concerns.
  4. Empathize with the ridiculousness of how complicated it is to keep a child safe on the road.
  5. Offer to help them anytime they have questions or want guidance on a new seat.

So far nothing has blown up in my face; I still have friends. Usually, if I lose friends it’s because they move out of state and if that’s their way of breaking up with me because I offended them with unwanted carseat advice, then they have a very good cover story. And a very accommodating spouse.