Monday, June 29, 2009

summer safety tips

Each season of the year brings new challenges in the child restraint safety arena so we wanted to mention a few for the summer season:

Window Shades:One of the most common mistakes in safely transporting children is the use of suction cup and roller blind shades on the windows of vehicles. In a crash, these can become detached and a projectile that could injure you or your child. The safe recommendation is to use the tinted transfer shades that stick to the windows. An example of this is the Sunshine Kids Cool-Shade.


Cover your child restraint when not in use: When your child restraint is unoccupied and your vehicle will be sitting out in the sun, cover the restraint with a light towel or blanket – this will prevent the metal parts from heating up and potentially causing burns on your child. It will also keep dark colored fabric restraints cooler.

Never leave your child/ren in a vehicle unattended: In addition to the safety aspect of this, every year children die due to hyperthermia from being left in vehicles.

Double check and check again when you are backing up for children: With the better weather and lighter evenings, more children are playing outside. SUVs and Minivans have many blind spots in which a child could be lurking.

Pay attention to the increased number of cyclists and pedestrians out on the streets.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Louya family donation

Meet the Louya family!

We had the fortunate ability to be able to donate two Britax Marathons recently to the Louya family. This is a departure from our usual donations, but we were thankful to be able to assist the family. Many thanks to Sandra Ramsey, CPST for her time and expertise showing the family how to correctly install and use their new seats.

Pictured below is a 17 month old who is 23lbs. This child has been placed in the rear-facing position as rear-facing is 5 times safer than forward-facing. All children who fit rear-facing should be positioned in this manner. This darling cutie will be able rear-face in this Marathon until 33lbs which is the rear-facing weight limit of the seat the foundation donated to the family. Rear-facing height limit for this seat is until there is one inch between the top of the child's head and the top of the shell of the seat.

Don't worry about children's legs when rear-facing. Children sit very comfortably rear-facing and will either fold their legs or put them on the side of the seat as Miss Louya is demonstrating for us above. The Britax convertibles are some of the only convertible seats on the market that allow for the tether to be used in the rear-facing direction. See the Reid family donation to see pictures of the rear-facing tether and how that is used.

This cutie is 2 years old and 36lbs. As such, he is placed in the forward-facing position as he is over the limits for rear-facing in this seat. The Marathon will harness until 65lbs, or until the child outgrows this seat by height. When forward-facing, the harness should be in slots which are at or above the child's shoulders. When the top of the child's shoulders creep above the top harness slot or the top of the child's ears are level with the top of the shell of the seat, the seat has been outgrown by height.


Can you help us continue to donate seats to the needy families on our waiting list?

Each seat the foundation donates costs approximately $200. We have a waiting list of ~100 families at any given time - all consisting of children who are at risk whilst they await our ability to assist. Please consider a donation to the foundation of any size you can afford, to help keep more children safe. You can donate using PayPal to the right of our blog, or you can donate using Debit/Credit/Check. Details are here. Thank you so much for your support and dedication to keeping children safe!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

DeBello family donation

Meet the DeBello family!

This adorable boy 'I' recently received a Britax Regent from the foundation. Many thanks to CPST, Virginia Valente for her time and expertise educating the family about installation and usage of this seat.


'I' looks very happy and comfortable in his new seat, don't you think? He is 2 years old and was at the limits for his previous 5 point harness seat. We are so pleased we were in a position to help his family out with a seat to keep him safer for a good long time.

'I' has an older sister who is currently sitting in a borrowed seat which needs to be returned soon. We will hopefully be able to assist his family soon with another seat to keep her safe. She is 3 years old and previous to borrowing a seat, was riding in a booster seat. She is obviously far too young to be restrained in a booster. Will you help us keep I's sister safe too?

Each seat the foundation donates costs approximately $200. We have a waiting list of ~100 families at any given time - all consisting of children who are at risk whilst they await our ability to assist. Please consider a donation to the foundation of any size you can afford, to help keep more children safe. You can donate using PayPal to the right of our blog, or you can donate using Debit/Credit/Check. Details are here. Thank you so much for your support and dedication to keeping children safe!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Reid family donation

Meet the Reid family!


In a departure from our normal donations, we were thankful to have the ability to donate a Britax Marathon to this charming family for their 7 month old who had reached the limits of his infant seat. Pictured above in the foreground is Cindy Van Neste, CPST who assisted the foundation by providing the installation and education session for the family.

Below in this series of photos, you will see Ms. Reid learning how to secure her son correctly in his seat. Chest clip placed at armpit level, harness tight and passing the pinch test. Harness in slots at or below the child's shoulders as the seat is in the rear-facing position.



The Britax Marathon can be tethered in the rear-facing position using the provided D-ring. This is a great feature of this seat and provides for some extra sturdiness in the installation. Here is an example picture showing a Marathon tethered in the rear-facing configuration:



Here is the rear-facing tether and tethering location in the Reid's vehicle:



I guess this little guy finds his new seat nice and comfortable - look - he is fast asleep!!!


Ms. Reid's daughter is currently seated in a booster seat. She is currently on our waiting list awaiting a high weight capacity harnessing seat to be available for her. At the current rate of donations, it could be as much as 9-12 months before we are able to assist this little girl and get her into a seat to keep her safer! Can you help shorten that waiting list?

Each seat the foundation donates costs approximately $200. We have a waiting list of ~100 families at any given time - all consisting of children who are at risk whilst they await our ability to assist. Please consider a donation to the foundation of any size you can afford, to help keep more children safe. You can donate using PayPal to the right of our blog, or you can donate using Debit/Credit/Check. Details are here. Thank you so much for your support and dedication to keeping children safe!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Land family donation

Meet the Land family!

This seat was installed on Memorial Day by CPST Robyn Atkins whom the foundation greatly thanks for her time and expertise!

Did you know that the every car seat the foundation donates is shipped to a Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST)? We do this to ensure that our recipient families receive an education session where they learn how to install their seat in their vehicle and how to correctly use the seat. The national average of seat MISUSE is 85%, so we hope that by making our donations in this manner, we are ensuring that our recipient families are not part of that statistic!

Ms. Land had some kind words for the foundation that we wanted to share with you:

"I cannot begin to thank you enough. B has not been out of the seat while driving at all. In fact he almost falls asleep in the seat every time we go in the car.

Because of you and your foundation my son is safe and in a car seat every time we go in the car."

Here's a short video (a first for us!) of the Regent being installed by Ms. Land!

video
Each seat the foundation donates costs approximately $200. We have a waiting list of ~100 families at any given time - all consisting of children who are at risk whilst they await our ability to assist. Please consider a donation to the foundation of any size you can afford, to help keep more children like M safe. You can donate using PayPal to the right of our blog, or you can donate using Debit/Credit/Check. Details are here. Thank you so much for your support and dedication to keeping children safe!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hughes family donation

Meet the Hughes family!

This adorable little man M is 4 years old and 38lbs - we caught him just before he would have would have outgrown a traditional harnessing car seat (weight limit 40lbs). He will be able to be safely harnessed in this Britax Regent (Sahara cover) for a long time.

Below you will see child passenger safety technician, Chris Carpenter, fit M to his new seat. Prior to installing the seat in the vehicle, the child is put in the seat to make sure the crotch strap and the harness are in the correct slots. Remember, for forward-facing harnessing, the harness should be in slots which are at or ABOVE the child's shoulders.


Each seat the foundation donates costs approximately $200. We have a waiting list of ~100 families at any given time - all consisting of children who are at risk whilst they await our ability to assist. Please consider a donation to the foundation of any size you can afford, to help keep more children like the M Huges safe. You can donate using PayPal to the right of our blog, or you can donate using Debit/Credit/Check. Details are here. Thank you so much for your support and dedication to keeping children safe!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

General Install Tips

Here is some general information for helping install your seat properly. Keep in mind each seat and vehicle is different and this is just general information. You should still meet with a CPST in your area to help ensure you have a good installation of your car seat and to have all your questions answered. This information is a great reminder if you have met with a tech before, and good to know if you have not so you can help your child ride safe. It will also help you if you make an appointment with a tech, to be a little ahead on the knowledge.

*A car seat should not move more than 1" at the belt path of the seat belt or LATCH belt side-to-side or front-to-back.

*You should only use the vehicle seat belt -OR- LATCH belt, not both together. Always use top tether anchor when it is available.

*When placing a car seat rear-facing, if the seat is not level with the indicator on the seat you can help correct the elevation of the seat by using -EITHER/OR- a tightly rolled towel or swimming pool noodles. The towel should be folded to fit between the belt path, not wider, and rolled up tightly. The swimming pool noodles should be cut to fit between the belt path, not wider, and if using more than one - tape them together. If one is not enough elevation and you need to go to two, use a third one in a triangle arrangement to prevent the two from falling over and dropping the elevation.

*CPST's suggest against using rear-facing mirrors, car window shades (unless they cling to the window) or any toys hanging from the car seat. These items can become projectiles in a crash, causing harm to the child or other passengers in the vehicle.

*It's suggested to never use anything that doesn't come with the child seat. E.g. extra head supports, bunting coats designed to fit the harness of the seat, 'handle bar' toys for infant carriers. The reason for this is because these items are not tested with the seat. Anything that is not tested with the seat could cause it to fail in some way or another. Fitted blanket style coats that the harnesses thread through can cause the harness to not sit properly on the child.

*It's suggested to never use a thick or bulky coat or thick clothing under the harnesses. Fleece is about the thickest you want to have on a child when they are in their restraint. When you have thick coats on and you put your child in their restraint, you have to loosen the harnesses to fit around them and their coat, giving you a false feeling of tightness. Coats compress and in a crash and cause the harness to be too loose. Ways to help keep your child(ren) warm are to use their coat outside of the vehicle, and inside the car place them in their seat without the coat, then place the coat over top of them to keep them warm. Use blankets to cover them. Use the 'shower cap' style covers for infant carriers.

*When placing a child in the seat the harnesses should be at or below the shoulders for rear-facing and at or above the shoulders for forward-facing.

*The harness should be tight enough that you cannot pinch any excess belt together at the collarbone. If you can, it's still too loose.

*The retainer or chest clip should be at the arm-pit level.

These are some general tips and information for helping you properly restrain your child. This is not everything you need to know about properly using your seat. Refer to your car seat manual AND vehicle manual to help answer questions. Contact a CPST in your area to have your seat properly fit to your child and to find out how to install your seat in your vehicle. You can locate your nearest CPST through this link at Safe Kids.

The best seat is the one you can install and use correctly EVERY time!

If you have questions please post them in the comments, I will answer back and try to help you out.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Vote for our blog please!

2009 BlogLuxe Awards

Would you vote for our blog in the category "blog you've learned the most from" please? It would be great to get some new people acquainted with the foundation and learn how to keep their kids safer in their vehicle.

Thanks so much to everyone for your support!