Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Car seat safety...short version for all of you minimalists :)

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After I spent hours on the last blog post on car seat safety, a few friends told me I should make a poster out if it, outlining the main points without so many details. Gosh, you just can't please anybody these days, can you!?

I'm obviously joking. They had a good point. A shorter version will catch someone's attention much easier than something that makes them feel like they are back in school.

As a mom, you will inevitably run across those types of moms that are convinced they could do no wrong when it comes to their parenting skills...or the moms that get extremely offended at the mention of any advice.

"I know what's best for my child!"

^If I had a penny for every time I have heard that...I'd have lots and lots of pennies.

Oh and don't worry if you are one of "those moms." I've been there!

This is my son when he was 2 1/2

and this is right before his 5th birthday (he's playing around in his sister's car seat-he is actually FF in a Recaro ProSport)



This is my daughter 2 months after her 4th birthday



And this is her now, 2 months shy of 7 years old



It's hard looking back and seeing just how horribly they were restrained (or not) in seats...and knowing that had I gotten into any sort of significant accident, chances are, they would not be here today.

"When you know better, you do better"

Before my 3rd child, I learned...A LOT, so I don't have any real "car seat fails" with her, just staged ones.

So for the fun of it...this is how NOT to put your child in a car seat:


and this is the right way!




So without further ado, here is a much simplified, eye catching version of the car seat safety blogpost. Maybe it is enough to interest even the most perfect of all perfect moms. Enjoy!

32 comments:

  1. I currently have 4 children in car seats (7 in May,5 next month, 28 months and 2.5 months). I follow all of these recommendations - except one. I have a question about the BundleMe and similar items. For the newborn and I have a "bag" that sits inside the car seat. It does not interfere with the straps and doesn't seem like it would be any different from putting a winter coat on, but not zipped (out from under the straps as I have seen on car seat safety pages) - the coat is still between them and the back of the seat. I leave the straps at the same setting. It seems ridiculous to assume I can just skip any kind of coat or covering when I live in an area of Canada where -20 celcius is normal for winter. A blanket is not going to be warm enough for anyone.

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    1. I live in Canada too and I just wanted to share a couple things Ive found helpful.. We go out to the van with coats on, take them off and buckle the kids into their car seats, and put the jackets over top backwards. Our oldest gets over heated really easy so with taking his jacket off he can put it aside when he gets warm.
      Also with the bundle me bags.. It doesn't seem like they would interfere with the harness, but they do. What I did was put the baby in with the bundle me, make the straps nice and secure, then took her out, and the bundle me. If you can put the baby back in and not have to tighten the straps at all, then you're ok. With mine, the straps were loose to the point I could almost get her out without undoing the harness.

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  2. I read this.... Put coat on child (puffy coats/big bulky coats def. are a no no) buckle child with coat, bag or both. Make straps tight (follow guide lines) then take baby out no coat no bag or extras in carseat. ll just baby and the normal clothes. Buckle child in carseat. If the straps are loose than the coat or bag are NO good and should not be used because they can become compressed and child can fly out of straps. But if carseat buckles and is not loose and shoulder straps can not be pinched up than the oat or bag are fine. This is only what I have read from another site while doing research last year. You did say you leave straps in same possition and don't loosen for the coat so I'm NO expert but it sounds ok if you have done the above.

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  3. I have a rear facing snug ride 32 and a forward facing my ride 65 both by Graco. I currently have them both in the LATCH system and the belts. I was told to by a pediatrician. I should change to either LATCH or belt not both???

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    1. Do not listen to a pediatrician, they do not manufacture car seats. Some pediatricians will also still tell you that you can turn a baby forward facing at 12 months. Their job is to diagnose strep, administer vaccines and tell you what a wonderful job you are doing as a parent to keep your baby healthy. Their job does not involve keeping up with car seat safety. Consulting your car manual and car seat manual will give you all the info you need for proper installation. One thing this poster didn't mention that is a newly released guideline: The LATCH system is only good up to 65 lbs. That is a COMBINED weight of both the car seat and the child together, not the weight of the child alone. Once a combined weight of 65 pounds is reached then LATCH is to be discontinued and the seat belt is used to secure the car seat.

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    2. Your pediatrician was correct in stating that you should use either the latch system OR the seatbelt to secure the car seat. You should not use both to secure.

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  4. There are bundle me type covers that go over the top and use elastic to stay on and they do not go under the baby, they work better than the bundle me I had with my now 10 year old as the keep LO from any drafts, you can tuck an extra blanket for good measure when needed and it is safe.

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  5. Erica, Your pediatrician is correct. The seat are designed for one or the other. You do not install a seat with both the latch and a seat belt. The latch system is the best way for your children's seats to be installed.

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    1. I'm definitely nit-picking here but the best way to install car seats is whichever way you can install them correctly. I'm personally not comfortable with latch, I don't feel I get my car seats secured tight enough, so I do seat belts.

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  6. I think you misread Erica's comment. She is doing both - latch and belt per her pediatrician. According to your research this is not correct.

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  7. I have the same issue as the first commenter. Living in an area of Canada where we hit -50 Celsius for at least a week straight each winter, and then a few days now and then after- January alone is usually between -20 and -30...how exactly am I keeping kids warm?! Would YOU get in a car without your jacket on in those temperatures? A blanket or a poncho just doesn't cut it when it gets that cold.

    Now, I try to buy coats with the least puff and the highest temperature rating- but we can't be taking the coats off our kids before the car is fully warmed up (which can take upwards of half an hour when it's THAT COLD- our grocery stores all have plugs so you can plug in your car while shopping or else there's a serious chance it won't start again) they'll catch their death from exposure. I guess it's a trade off- possible danger from coat compression or certain danger from freezing to death...but surely they can come up with a solution!

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    1. Those who live in cold climates, as do I, seem to be making excuses. We start our vehicle and let it run for 10-15 minutes (depending how cold it is) so the vehicle will be warm, then take the baby out in her coat or wrapped in a warm blanket (which I prefer because it's easier to get off quickly) then buckle her into her seat without the coat. This isn't complicated, and she's only out in the cold for a minute before she's in the car.

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    2. that's fine if you are leaving your house, but if you are leaving a store, school, etc., you CAN'T warm your vehicle up for 10-15 minutes before putting baby in! And in the kinds of temperatures that Canada, North Dakota, Minnesota, etc. get, the car does not retain any heat while you are inside shopping, etc. Frostbite and hypothermia are very real dangers.

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    3. Plus, where I live it's against the law to leave your car idling due to poor air quality. You can get reported and fined. So it's definitely not an option for everyone!

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  8. Thanks for the help with car seat safety. I acknowledge your wisdom and appreciate it!! Can I give some gentle advice from my area of "policing" - which is health & diet? In 2 of the pics of your kids it looks like they're drinking large bottles of soda (strawberry Crush for the 4 yr old and I can't tell what the 2 yr old has but it doesn't look like water). Kids those ages need water, milk, and maybe occasionally watered-down 100% fruit juice, and that's it. The sugar content in soda, sports drinks, punch, etc. is terribly unhealthy for adults, much less people a fraction of their size. Children who regularly drink such beverages MAY be set up for diet-related issues such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, and there are many questions about the safety of artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors (which have been linked to attention disorders and even cancer). Of course I don't know if your kids do drink them only once a year or what - and maybe including the soda was just part of the "don't do this!" picture theme. :)

    I can tell you are a cautious mom who cares a lot about her kids' safety, and I just wanted to reciprocate since I appreciate you enlightening me about your area of interest. I hope this doesn't offend - like you, I just want to spread the word about how we can all do better!

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    1. I appreciate your concern because I can say it does look bad, but we eat organic, gluten free foods 99% of the time. The pictures you are talking about were on our way home from an apple orchard. The kid were thirsty and their water bottles were empty, the orchard had a little store and all they had was a variety of 20oz drinks. The kids' grandparents were in town and spoiling them as usual, so I agreed to let them choose one (as long as it was caffeine free) and they could share it with my husband and me. My kids are allowed the occasional cup of sprite or root beer when we go out to dinner, although most of the time my son prefers water. At home, they have organic milk, water, or 100% juice. I am very cautious about what I feed them because of how much research I do. Car seats are not my only specialty :)

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  10. Poor 7yo! I'm sure she gets made fun off in school!. There is no reason for her to be in a toddler seat. The first seat she is pictured in (at age 4) is appropriate if you had her in it correctly. Both belts on the buckle side should be under tha arm rest to keep the belt off of her neck. If it is still on the neck, there is a belt positioner that should have some with the seat to hold the belt securly, even in a crash away from her neck.

    Your son should not have been moved to the booster until he was 3 years old and met the height and weight requirements. He was not tall enough for that seat. He also should be mature enough to stay seated against the middle back of his seat.

    I have a 3 yo and a 4.5yo. The 3yo just went up to a high back booster. The seatbelt holds him in just as snug as his toddler seat, but is teaching him how he needs to sit properly while riding in a car, just having the seat hold him there. My 4.5yo is in a no back booster. She meets the height requirements also. She knows now how to buckle herself (to not unbuckle until the car is turned off), where the belt should fit, and to put both sides of the belt under the armrest so that the belt fits on her shoulder not nexk.

    I liked your first carseat post about the infant seat. I have seen far too many people put their little ones in where you can just see the little one flying out of it at even a hard stop much less a crash. I'm thinking you need to look a bit more into this one. Child safety is great, going over board because you are paraniod not so great.

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    1. I would really appreciate it if you would stop spreading false information. My child does not get made fun of, she fits perfectly in her seat and it is made to accommodate children of her size. She will graduate from that seat when she outgrows it. Your 3 year old absolutely should NOT be in a booster seat. I am not paranoid or overboard...I really think you need to re-evaluate your choices and refrain from telling me how to secure my children :) Thanks!

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  11. If everyone practiced better car seat safety, children would not make fun of other children because they would still be in their seats too. Maybe you should use your energy to jump on the parents of the bullies, not the parents that are keeping their kids safe?

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  12. I noticed that you do not include in either of your lists about putting the seat at the correct angle. I have seen this mistake far too many times in my 20 years of childcare. It should also be mentioned that people can bring their car and car seat to a local certified car seat inspection station- usually there is a certified police officer at the local station who can let you know if your seat is properly installed. They are also really good at making sure the seat is VERY tightly latched into the car. Just my 2 cents as I am also passionate about car seat safety.

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  13. AS long as its safe, i find it okay.

    ______________
    toyota seat covers

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  14. Thank you for this great cheat sheet! Just pinned it :)

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  15. Having children changes everything! Thanks for the car seat safety tips and the minimalist version you provided. My sister-in-law just had a son and I made her look this post over too. She got her car inspected, new car seats for all the kids, and new Nokian tires to withstand the harsh winters here. Thanks for sharing!

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  16. Hello Candice, Thank you so much for this wonderful guest post. I am an expecting mum (giving birth two months from now) and I have been reading a lot about car safety for kids. I have been stressing out on what car seat to get my child. My husband and I travel a lot so getting a car seat is really necessary. Do you have any preferred brand of car seat? I am planning to get Sentinel I from http://www.safety1st.com.au/ but I am still looking for reviews of it online. Hopefully you can help me on this! Thanks a lot!

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  17. thank you for your good post, i have a baby, so i find a baby car seat, recently i saw some baby car seat, and i see it, but i am confused it's fixed price and how to it. please shere me.
    thanks eimon

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  19. Children should not be taken for a ride because it might hurt them if they are too young and undeveloped. The problem they can get is called Shaken Baby Syndrome. Anyways, I really loved this article and I wish to read more of such articles from you.

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