Car Seat Safety 39
Transitioning your little one from their infant car seat to their long-term convertible seat is a big milestone! The same car seat that you likely carried them home from the hospital in won’t contain their growing body forever, so here’s what you need to know about transitioning into a larger car seat.
When are they big enough?
Every car seat and manufacturer is different, so there is no one answer that will fit every child. Read the height and weight limits for your seat and be sure your child has met the maximum height or weight limit of the seat before switching.
Rear or front facing?
Once your child is ready to move up to a convertible car seat, it’s best to keep them rear-facing as long as possible in accordance to the manufacturers recommendations for the seat. As their legs get longer and their interest in the world around them grows, it can be hard to keep them happily facing back, but all experts agree that age two, if not older, is the safest milestone to transition them to forward-facing.
Convertible car seats
Once your baby is ready to graduate from their infant car seat, the next car seat will be theirs for the long-haul so do your research. If you have a mid-sized car and two or more children, I always recommend the Diono Radian. We chose Diono for all three of our kids, and successfully avoided a van purchase with these svelte seats. Diono seats can fit three across most mid-sized vehicles, so for big families they’re a must. Over the holidays, my sister asked our advice on which car seat we recommended for my 10 month old niece. With a baby on the way and a little one in tow, space is at a premium so of course, I said Diono.
Installation and Safety
There’s no cargo more precious than your little one, so read the instructions over and over again! You might want to also give your car manual a read too for installation tips, how to find your tethers, etc. Know your child’s exact height and weight so you can install the car seat in the correct position to accommodate your child perfectly. There are many local resources will offer free inspection services to give you tips and peace of mind as you install your child’s seat. Be sure to do your research and call ahead to confirm they have a certified car seat tech available for you.
We installed my niece’s seat rear-facing and in the middle of the car. This is the safest location when it is installed correctly, but of course will only work for her final few months as an only child. Once baby comes along, it’s recommended that the infant car seat always take precedent in the safest middle seat.
Other safety measures not to miss are removing your child’s coat before you buckle them up and removing any clutter from your car. In the event of an accident, clutter in the vehicle moves at warp speed and becomes dangerous for any passengers, especially the little ones. There are many cute toys designed to attach on to the car seat, but it’s best to avoid them for safety reasons. In the winter months it’s so hard to convince kids that they’re better off without their winter coat while the car heats up, and you might not win any fun mom points with your kids on that icy commute to daycare, but it’s worth it to assure their car seat fits properly and can protect them best.
Emily is a Montreal-based writer and blogger, but most importantly, a mom of three littles (age five and under). She geeks out over cloth diapers, lattes, and will do just about anything to travel. You can find her on Instagram @emmorrice where she profusely overgrams pictures of her meals, kids and city.
We are continuing our conversation today about car seat safety and when to transition to the next stage of seat as well as how to safely use each stage. Today we are talking about Stages 3 and 4- Booster seats and seat belts.
When transitioning to a booster seat, it is important to do your research as here is where children’s age, weight, and height have such a big impact on how you choose to restrain them in your car. Many people think that as soon as their child hits the 40lb minimum requirement of a booster seat that they should immediately make the switch from their forward-facing seats, however, there is so much more to this decision than just the minimum weight factor. As long as your child is within the weight and height ranges for his or her forward-facing seat and fits the car seat properly, it is safest to use that car seat as long as possible. Making the switch to a booster seat can be confusing so we are here to help you navigate when to make the switch and what to transition to.
What is a booster seat?
A booster seat is a device used to lift your child to the position that correctly fits the vehicle seat belt across their body. The shoulder belt should be across the centre of the chest, contacting the collar bone and not the neck. The lap belt should be low on hips and upper thighs, not across the soft tissue in the child’s midsection. This is the fit that offers the most protection in the event of a collision.
Types of Booster Seats:
There are two types of stage three seats- a combination seat or a belt positioning seat.
Harness to Booster Combination Seat: this type of seat starts out as a forward facing seat with a five point harness and can later be converted to a belt positioning booster once the height/weight requirements are met. The use of a five point restraint system is recommended for as long as you can as it offers more protection in the event of a collision and is more difficult for a child to get out of or use incorrectly.
Belt Positioning Booster Seat: this type of seat relies solely on the vehicle seat belt to position the child to adequately fit the seat belt. Both a lap and shoulder belt must be used with this type of seat and it is not safe to use with a lap belt only which is the type in some older cars and middle seat positions.
There are two types of Belt Positioning Booster Seats to choose from:
High Back Booster (HBB): Has side wings for torso and head to provide lateral support for a child in event of side impact collision. This also helps keep their torso and body in a vertical position while they are awake or sleeping so when the seatbelt locks up at point of impact, it contacts the strongest parts of their body, minimizing risk of injury.
Backless Booster: Just as it sounds- there is no back attached to the booster, it is just the seat portion. With a backless seat there is no lateral support, it provides only the lift to position to the right seatbelt hight but does not help support them when they are sleeping or leaning over. If a child is still and in upright position, they perform the same as a HBB, they just don’t have the support for when child is sleeping or moving out of vertical position.
- Refer to the height and weight requirements of your current forward facing seat as well as it’s expiry date to determine when you may need to transition to the next stage. If your child is well within the seat limits and fits the seat well, it is safest to keep him there until he outgrows it.
- When purchasing your stage three seat, consider your child’s age, weight,and height along with the new seat’s expiry date and cost. Sometimes a pricier seat gives you a longer length of use and is more cost effective in the end.
- Be sure that whatever seat you choose is compatible with your vehicle as not all seats fit in all cars.
- A child in a belt positioning booster has the same freedom an adult has to undo the seat belt and move/bend over within the belt so carefully consider their maturity before transitioning them out of a 5 pt harness into belt positioning.
- If you are purchasing or using a backless or low back booster, make sure the vehicle seat or headrest comes at least to the middle of the child’s ears to protect his head and neck in the event of a crash.
Important Tips for Proper Use:
- Always consult your vehicle owner’s manual and booster seat user guide prior to installation to ensure you have correctly installed it for optimal safety.
- Always use both a lap belt and a shoulder belt with a booster seat.
- Always buckle up an empty booster seat (or take it out of your vehicle) so it doesn’t become a projectile that could hurt someone in a crash or sudden stop.
- Do regular fit checks on your child to be sure that the belt is fitting them correctly and that it is not twisted or obstructed in any way that would prevent it from locking up in a collision.
Stage 4: When is your child ready for seat belt only?
Children must be at least 4’9″ tall and typically 8-12 years old before making the switch but there are many other fit factors to consider. Your child must be able to sit up straight, with his or her back against the back of your vehicle’s seat and feet touching the floor. Your child’s legs should be able to hang over the seat without slouching. Slouching makes the lap belt move up over the stomach when it should be over the hips. The shoulder belt should rest on your child’s shoulder, never on the neck or arm. If the seatbelt rubs their neck they will put it behind their head and won’t get the protection they need on their torso in a crash.
If your child can’t sit in the right position or the vehicle seat belt does not fit properly, he or she is still too short and should stay in a booster seat for a while longer. If your child grows out of their booster seat before they are ready to use only a seat belt, there may be another booster seat that fits your child.
Remember that once you do make the switch to a seat belt, the back seat is still the safest place for children in the event of a collision. A minimum age of 13 is recommended before sitting in the front seat and though they may feel they are missing out on “Shotgun” privileges, the back seat could save their life.
Still feeling car seat confused? Visit us at one of our store locations to further speak to an advisor with any questions you have. If you live in the GTA, you can also visit us at our exclusive Car Seat Day Event on Saturday, September 24th from 10am-4pm at our head office location 1040 Sutton Drive in Burlington, Ontario. We will have special bonus offers, gift bags and car seat brand reps on site to ensure you walk away with the knowledge you need to keep your child safe.
It doesn’t take much to discover that the world of strollers and car seats can be very overwhelming. Every parent has something that they highly recommend, along with something that they suggest you steer clear of. So, when it comes to picking a stroller and car seat combo, how do you know which choice is the best for your family?
I’ve had the wonderful opportunity of working in Snuggle Bugz stores for a number of years and have been able to connect with many parents navigating through the early stages of parenthood. What is the number one question most advisors get asked – Where do I start?!
Already assuming that safety is priority, here are my steps for choosing a combo that is the best fit for your family and lifestyle.
1. Identify your lifestyle and stroller needs!
– Do I have limited space to store my stroller, whether it’s at home or in the car? Once in the car, do I have room to store anything else?
– Do I spend the majority of my time walking on paved or unpaved surfaces? Trails, hikes, paved roads, malls etc.
– Are we planning on having children close in age?
– How much weight am I comfortable lifting when folding and loading my stroller?
– Do you need something with a lot of storage for shopping or bringing everything with me?
When you’re prepared to answer questions like these, advisors can quickly narrow down the best options that will, or will not work for you! Which brings us to step # 2!
2. Quickly remove options that won’t work for your family in order to drown out the noise.
Not everything is going to work for your lifestyle, and sometimes things that won’t work are much easier to identify than things that will. Narrow down the overall selection to three strollers that look promising. From there get into some serious details about each!
Here are some questions to get you started:
– What is my budget?
– What kind of tires does the stroller have?
– Can I adjust the height or position of the handlebars?
– Can I fold the stroller unassisted, or even with 1 hand?
– Can I carry the stroller?
– What colour options are available?
– Can I recline the seat for my child? Will they be comfortable as they grow?
– Is the footrest adjustable?
– What infant car seats are compatible with each of these strollers?
3. Determine what car seats are compatible with your top 3 stroller picks and do some research.
Not all car seats are created equal, and it’s important that you are confident in the decision that you make for your growing family. Make a list of the car seat options that are compatible with your top stroller picks.
It’s okay to be unfamiliar with all of the lingo and terminology, but definitely worth it to figure out what it all means! Especially when it comes to the safety of your precious cargo. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Snuggle Bugz is a community where we get to learn and explore together. The more questions you ask, the more you know.
Some things you may want to ask about:
– Side impact protection
– Anti-rebound bars
– Recall history
– Height & weight restrictions
– Length of use with infant
4. Take your pick!
Once you’ve decided on a car seat that you feel safe putting your little one in, and confident using, pair that with your top stroller pick and voila, you’ve got your own perfect travel system!
Clek Inc. has determined that a limited quantity of seats produced in late 2013 and 2014 contained fabric covers that were different from what was described. Some seat covers described as free of chlorinated flame retardants were not. In the coming weeks, Clek will be notifying all consumers who have registered a product in the production period noted above with information on how to identify whether they have a product that was incorrectly described. These Clek products remain appropriate for their intended use. Any consumer with one of these products who requests a replacement cover will be sent one at no charge.
The following steps will help you identify if you have a product potentially impacted by this issue:
1. Identify the style of your Clek Foonf or Fllo seat. This limited issue only arose for some:
- 2014 model year Foonf seats with Flamingo, Snowberry, Tank, Dragonfly, Ink, Blue Moon, Shadow, or Tokidoki (Travel, All-Over, Rebel) colours
- Fllo model seats with the Flamingo color manufactured in 2014.
If your model or style is not listed above it is not impacted by this issue.
2. Remove the fabric from the cushion of your seat. Check the 10 digit alpha numeric code sewn to the underside of the cover (e.g. 104576D-FMO). If the 7th character (character immediately preceding the dash) is the letter ‘C’ or ‘D’, your seat was manufactured with a 2013 cover that was described incorrectly. If the 7th character (character immediate preceding the dash) is ‘E’ or ‘F’ your seat was properly described.
You can also visually check the foam sewn to the underside of the cushion fabric by comparing it with these images.If you have a product that fits the production period, style, color and code characteristics described above, and you would like a replacement cover, please call Clek’s customer service team at 1-866-656- 2462, or contact them via email at email@example.com with your product’s serial number, image of the seat (if possible) and your contact information. Clek will arrange to have a replacement cover shipped to you at no charge. Please do not bring your seat into a Snuggle Bugz retail location as we do not have the replacement covers in our inventory.
At Snuggle Bugz we take car seat safety very seriously and make it a priority to advise our customers of any notifications or compromises in manufacturer’s product safety. We encourage you to register the products that you purchase so that you will receive the most up to date information on any safety and product notices.
Thank you for your attention to this matter,
This week on the blog, we are featuring a guest post from our friends at diono! As safety is their number one concern, they are stopping by to share some tips for safe summer travel. Becoming a parent is the biggest and scariest, yet most exciting journey in life. At diono, we’ve made it our passion to lovingly engineer ideas that are all about safety and smiles – wherever you are going. Just as your children are constantly evolving, so are we! You may have noticed we have a new logo, but it’s more than a logo and tagline. We’ve re-imagined our convertible car seats with new fashions and premium fabrics that we think you will love, all while keeping safety at the heart of our designs. This is just the beginning of our new journey and summer is the perfect time to showcase our new look. We’d love to share with you a few of our favourite tips for keeping safety and smiles in mind while you are out adventuring with your children this season.
School’s out! Time for longer play dates, trips to the museum and the beach. Will you be taking a family vacation or staying close to home? No matter what you’re doing, the lazy days of summer are great for our sanity, but never get lazy on safety. Here are some of our hot tips for keeping your kids safe while you’re on the road and in a car seat .
- Clothes on in the car. Many of us leave the pool or beach and don’t think to cover up when we get into the car. During a crash the webbing on seat belts and the car seat harness can cause friction burns on bare skin. To help prevent this, make sure everyone in the car is wearing clothes between themselves and the webbing. Don’t skip the seat belts or car seats just because you’re close to home.
- Keep Cool. Baby it’s HOT outside, and car seat buckles can heat up and cause a burn or discomfort to your child. Keep car seats cool when you’re parked in a parking lot by covering them with a towel that you can remove when placing them in the seat. Never leave it as an extra layer between the seat and your child. Alternatively, you can use a sun protection product made specifically for your car seat by your car seat manufacturer.
- Extra car seats. No doubt your kids want to hang out with their friends and you might just treat them to a trip to the ice cream shop or to the movies. Be prepared and ensure that you have the proper type of seat according to weight and height requirements fore every child so that everyone is buckled up properly and safely.
- Get to know your blind spots. With kids out of school, they are bound to be out and about riding bikes or running through your neighborhood. Before you back out of your driveway, look around your vehicle to be sure a child is not nearby. Roll your windows down and turn off the radio before you put the car in drive so you can hear if anyone is approaching. Unfortunately, approximately 50 children are backed over every week because the driver could not see the child!
- Look Before you lock. Life can cause us to be very distracted. Be sure to remain focused on driving and your passengers. Never leave babies or children in the car, not even for a quick run into the store. Keep your purse or other important items near your child. You’ll most likely need to take them with you when you exit the car and you’ll always have a reminder that your child is in the back seat. An average of 38 children die every year from being left in the car.
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