Archive for the ‘Car seat safety’ Category

I know, I know, I haven’t blogged in a few days. And I should have plenty of time to blog now, right? (Of course.) I’ll try to be better.

OK, so that’s a rhetorical question. I don’t really need someone to tell me to update my resume (er, update?), make dr/dentist/eye doctor appointments before our insurance coverage changes, etc.

But …

It’s strange not having a job. It’s really strange being home by myself (we decided to send Little Sister to preschool this week, since she’s paid through March 1 anyway) – I usually have the house to myself about twice a year. Soon enough LS will be done with preschool for the time being, and we’ll have our “LS and mom” days every day. I think it’s going to be quite an adjustment – for me, not her. Tim and I have never been great about having a routine on days we’re home, but I really think that having some sort of schedule – however loose – is going to be key to having me be a stay-at-home mom, however temporarily. Book Boy and I have been struggling over his homework the past couple of days, though I think that may ease up a bit after today. (His asthma was acting up last week, so he stayed home one day and came home early two days, which translates into a LOT of homework. He’s all caught up now.)

On the plus side, I’m already doing a little contract work (editing!) for a car seat related project. It’s not a big project – maybe 20 hours max – but it’s a step in the right direction. Imagine if I could make a living writing/editing about car seats!

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120 cars. 220 seats checked.

100% misuse coming in (among the kids that even arrived in car seats).

Of the 14 or so kids that I checked:

2 barely 1-year-olds turned back rear-facing.

1 majorly broken (as in missing the metal piece that holds the straps on!) seat replaced

1 expired seat replaced

8 – at least – kids who arrived in just a seat belt (if that) provided with seats

Opened 30 minutes early and finished 1-1/4 hours late.

One exhausted, but very satisfied BookMama.

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I have a car seat check event tomorrow, in Detroit (well, just outside of Detroit, but it’s a very urban area). I’m really looking forward to it – I did one event in August, but it was very slow (albeit interesting – I’ve never put an adult in a car seat before!). I like the busy events, and tomorrow’s event should be nice and busy. I’ll be able to make the most of my time. ๐Ÿ™‚

The one thing I’m worried about is my darn foot, and the knee I fell on when I sprained my foot. Both are mostly better, but the knee hurts when I kneel on it (and hurts afterward), and the foots hurts at seemingly random times. I think I’ll be OK, but I’m seriously praying that I don’t have to help a family with a two-door car! (It’s always some old two-door that requires a quirky installation, which requires me crawling around in the back seat. Ugh.)

Wish me luck!

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I’m going to ask you all to do me a favor. Those of you with kids in harnessed car seats, that is.

Humor me. ๐Ÿ™‚

The next time you go out to the car, please check to make sure your car seat is actually buckled in by the seat belt (or the LATCH strap, if you use LATCH). Give it a good shake and make sure it doesn’t come loose. If it does, please re-install it so that your little one is actually protected by it.

You may wonder why on earth I’m asking you to do this. (Or you may think I’m a nut, and that’s enough for you.) I did a seat check event today, and at least two of the car seats I checked were NOT actually buckled in, even though the parent insisted that it was and was surprised when I was able to pull the seat completely out of the car without doing anything to unbuckle it. This means that the kids sitting in those seats would have been completely unrestrained in a crash.

(This often happens when there are bigger kids in the car, I think – they accidentally push the buckle release for the car seat’s seat belt while attempting to buckle themselves into their own seat belts.)

So please, just take an extra second or two and give your car seat a good, strong pull next time you go out to the car. Doing so (and re-installing if necessary) could save your child’s life in a crash.

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BoosterFor those of you who are still interested – meaning my mom and maybe my sisters – Celebrity Baby Blog has posted my final car seat article. This one addresses when it’s safe to move a child from a booster seat to just the adult seat belt. Featuring, of course, my handsome model, Book Boy.

You can read it here.

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Celebrity Baby Blog – that fun “brain candy” site – is continuing their series on car seat safety. The latest article talks about not moving kids to booster seats too early. It was written by yours truly, and features pictures of Book Boy to illustrate points made in the article.

ย This will apparently end up being a four-part series. The final installment, on when it’s safe to move a child from a booster seat to only the adult seat belt, will be published soon.

Thanks again to Celebrity Baby Blog for helping me get this important information out to millions and millions (literally!) of moms with young kids.

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Here in Michigan, children are required to be in a child restraint until they turn 8 years old, unless they hit 4’9″ first. (Just for reference, that’s the height of the average 11-year-old boy.)

I took these pictures of Book Boy last week to illustrate why a child of 4 – or 7, in this case – should not be riding in just an adult seat belt, law or no law. These were all taken in a Honda Odyssey, a very common “family” vehicle.

First, here he is in just the seat belt. Notice how it crosses his neck and the soft part of the abdomen? This leaves him extremely vulnerable to neck injuries and internal organ injuries in the event of a crash. The shoulder belt is on the lowest setting here, even though it looks very high. It’s hard to believe that he could have been sitting this way legally for the past THREE years, since the new booster law went into effect in July. (Can’t imagine how he would have fit at 4.)
seatbelt.jpg picture by taruff

This backless booster raises him up just enough to achieve a proper fit with the seat belt. Notice that the shoulder belt now rests across his shoulder and the lap belt rests on his hips rather than his abdomen. backless.jpg picture by taruff

This high-back booster adds great side-impact protection, not to mention a comfy place to rest his head when he’s tired or sleepy.
Parkway.jpg picture by taruff

And finally, his all-time favorite seat. A five-point harness to keep him positioned properly and help spread out crash forces, side-impact protection, and that place to rest his head. (FYI, this is a Graco Nautilus, and at 7 years old, Book Boy still has a couple of inches of torso room to go in this seat. It also happens to fit Little Sister well, too!)
Nautiluswithharness.jpg picture by taruff

Check out my Celebrity Baby Blog article on booster seats and seat belts.

*Or other appropriate child restraint such as a harnessed seat (see last pic), vest, etc.

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Sorry I haven’t blogged lately. I’m writing another car seat article in my “spare” (haha) time, and it’s taking much longer to write than the previous articles did. Will be back soon – give me another day or two!

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LScarseat2.jpg picture by taruffOne of my favorite “brain candy” web sites (and I mean that very affectionately), Celebrity Baby Blog, has posted an article supporting rear-facing children in car seats until age 2.

Oh, and in case the little girl in the picture doesn’t look familiar to you … I wrote the article!

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Why on earth is BookMama posting at 1 a.m., you may be asking yourself.

Well, I am ON VACATION. Until April 14.

(Of course, I may regret staying up this late when Book Boy and Little Sister get up at 6:30, as usual, but oh well … )

Don’t have any particular plans. BB and I have a toy store/car seat play date on Saturday, and I’m doing a seat check event next Thursday, but there’s nothing else specific planned. (Well, BB and I will probably make it to IKEA one day.)

I am SO glad to be off work for a whole week.

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