Posts Tagged ‘booster seat’

Britax Car Seat Sale!! Save up to $60!

Amazon is having a rare sale on Britax car seats, which are touted as being among the best/safest car seats available. I have one and LOVE it. Yes they are a little bigger and heavier than most, but they have performed better than other car seats in crash tests.

The sale is for one week only, so don’t delay, click here to view the sale items! Britax seats will also receive free shipping! When I purchased my Britax, all prices were very similar, so free shipping was important to me. But now there is a sale AND free shipping! Can’t beat that!

Britax offers a wide variety of car seats — convertibles, boosters — and in different models with different features. I have the Boulevard, which offers true side impact protection. I had a Civic at the time, so that was an important feature to me. It also had a knob on the side allowing you to adjust the straps to where YOU want them all without having to remove the straps or the seat.

Britax also has a new seat — the Click and Safe seat which provides and audible click to let you k now when the restraints are tight enough to keep your child safe.

Another thing to watch for is weight limits. The Boulevard is rear-facing up to 35 lbs and forward facing up to 65 pounds. The Roundabout is rear-facing also to 35 lbs, but only forward facing to 40 lbs.

The most important thing about car seats it to make sure they are properly installed!! I NEVER install my own seats. There is a technician at one of the fire stations here who is recommended by Children’s Hospital. He is certified and does hundreds of installations every year. The fact is, death from improper use or installation of car seats is the leading cause of death in infants and children. It’s so not worth it — get it professionally installed fire stations will do this for free, so cost is not an excuse, just takes a few minutes. Your child is worth it!

Other tips for safe car seats and usage:

1. Make sure the seat fits your car and fits your child. It does not matter how safe the seat is if it does not properly fit the car or child.

2. Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. This has nothing to do with age or how long your child’s legs are. Rear-facing is the safest position up to the weight limit of the seat or until his head reaches the top of the seat.

3. Use the seat every time! NEVER go anywhere without your child properly restrained in an approved car seat. Surprisingly, nearly half of all child deaths and injuries related to car accidents are from parents not using a restraint. Don’t do this — buckle up your child before you even start the car.

4. Watch for recalls, especially important if you are using a second-hand seat. Car seats come with a registration card. Fill it out and send it in so the manufacturer can send you any recall information.

5. Lifetime of a seat is about 6 years, at which time a new seat should be purchased, because the plastic starts to breakdown. Again, especially important if you are using a second hand seat.

6. Use a 5 point harrness, LATCH system and tethers.

7. Inspect the seat regularly to ensure it is still secured properly (ideally you would do this each time before putting the child in the seat). Very important as one day I discovered the car seat belt came undone on my daughter’s infant seat. Scared me to death to think what could have happened if I had not checked.

8. Make sure the straps are tight and secure each time you buckle up your child and that the chest clip is in the middle of your child’s sternum.

9. Children up to 80 pounds, 4′9″ and 8-10 years old need to be in some restraint system. Many seats now hold up to 100 pounds.

10. Don’t buckle in your child when she is wearing a heavy coat. It can create gaps and your child could fly out of the seat on impact. Instead buckle your child in then use blankets for warmth.

Go to the sale NOW! Before it’s too late….

Other resources:

http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/

http://www.aap.org/family/carseatguide.htm

http://car-seat.org/

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Many Car Seat booster seats are not as safe for children as thought

Many car booster seats are not as safe for children as thought

We are in the market for a new car, so I have spent a great deal of time researching cars, safety features, etc. on the Insurance Institure for Highway Safety website. Well, today I saw they have posted results from a study they conducted on the safety of using safety booster seats in the car.

Booster seats are not restaint systems, they are meant to boost a child so the seat belt in the car will properly fit the child to offer the best protection in the event of a crash.

Here is an except from their summary:

Thirteen of the 41 belt-positioning booster seats the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety evaluated with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute did such a poor job of improving the fit of lap and shoulder belts for children that the Institute doesn’t recommend them at all. Ten models are best bets and 5 are good bets. These evaluations are the first to tell consumers how well boosters sold by US retailers improve belt fit for children in cars, minivans, and SUVs. The Institute plans to continue these assessments.

Not-recommended boosters: Boosters the Institute doesn’t recommend are the
- highback Compass B505,
- Compass B510,
- Cosco/Dorel Traveler,
- Evenflo Big Kid Confidence;
- backless Safety Angel Ride Ryte;
- combination Cosco/Dorel Alpha Omega,
- Cosco/Dorel (Eddie Bauer) Summit,
- Cosco Highback Booster,
- Dorel/Safety 1st (Eddie Bauer) Prospect,
- Evenflo Chase Comfort Touch,
- Evenflo Generations,
- Graco CarGo Zephyr, and
- Safety 1st/Dorel Intera.
At least 2 of these models have been discontinued, hopefully replaced by better designs. Booster makers sometimes reuse names and even model numbers for new seats, so manufacture dates and model numbers are important.

Best bets and good bets: The 10 best-bet boosters are the most likely to position not only lap belts but also shoulder portions correctly on many children in many vehicles.
Best bets include 3 backless seats:
- Combi Kobuk,
- Fisher-Price Safe Voyage, and
- Graco TurboBooster.
These may require plastic clips to correctly position shoulder belts.

Six highbacks are best bets:
- Britax Monarch,
- Britax Parkway,
- Fisher-Price Safe Voyage,
- LaRoche Bros. Teddy Bear,
- Recaro Young Style, and
- Volvo booster cushion.

Another best bet is the combination seat Safeguard Go when it’s used as a backless booster. Combination seats convert to boosters by removing their built-in harnesses. At least 5 of the best-bet boosters have been discontinued but still are sold.

The 5 good bets provide acceptable belt fit in almost as many vehicle belt configurations. They are highbacks
- Combi Kobuk,
- Graco TurboBooster, and
- Safety Angel Ride Ryte,

and combinations when used as highbacks.
- Recaro Young Sport and
- Safety 1st/Dorel Apex 65

“Boosters that provide better belt fit aren’t necessarily the priciest,” notes Anne McCartt, Institute senior vice president for research. “Parents don’t have to spend a lot of money for a best bet or good bet booster.” The highback Graco Turbo-Booster, for example, converts to a backless booster and retails for about $50. The backless-only version sells for about $20.

The most important thing to remember is that children need to be in a child restraint system with a 5-point harness until they outgrow the height or weight for the seat. Normally this happens around age 4. Then a child should be in a booster until they can properly fit the standard car safety belt — normally 4’9″ tall and typically 85 pounds is also recommended. A booster will help ensure the car’s safety belt fits the child properly to best protect them should an accident occur.

According to the IIHS:
Boosters are belt positioners, not restraints: When children outgrow child restraints, parents may wonder if boosters are necessary. They are, because safety belts are designed to fit adults and usually don’t fit most kids properly until they’re 4 feet 9 inches tall. About 350 children ages 4-7 die in crashes each year in the United States. An additional 50,000 are injured. Because half of the fatally injured children in this age group ride unrestrained, the first step is to get them belted. Boosters help by improving the fit, effectiveness, and comfort of adult belts.

…Using boosters lowers injury risk by 59 percent compared with belts alone, a 2003 study by the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found. A 2006 study by the same authors found that boosters reduce fatality risk among booster-age children by about 28 percent compared with belts alone.”

More information

More information on child restraints from the IIHS

PDF of booster seats the IIHS evaluated in this study

Video of evaluation

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