Interesting Car-Safety Idea for Children Ove - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-04-2008, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was just sent the following link --

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/s..._carseats.html

He gives some intriguing information -- it's not been well received in the U.S., so he gave this talk at Oxford University.

He has an idea for a different option for children over 2 -- making backseats with a fold-down piece for small children to sit on, so that they can be comfortably strapped into adult shoulder-and-lap-belts. This should be way less costly than having to buy 2 different carseats for each child (or pay more for an infant-and-toddler combination-seat).

It interested me; I've heard about the dangers of putting new babies into their older siblings' used carseats -- apparently the plastic parts don't last very long, so if your kids are spaced more than 1 or 2 years apart, you need to buy a new seat for each new baby, plus upgrade to toddler seats for older children.

Making new cars with a fold-down piece in the back would save families a lot of money for other things -- they could buy a new carseat for each new baby, and each toddler (over 2) could go to sitting on the raised seat until tall enough to be comfortably strapped in without needing to be raised.

My very tall 8yo is already tall enough for this (and has been for a few years), but I don't think she's heavy enough to meet the legal requirement for no booster, so she sits on her booster -- which is honestly no different from sitting on a raised seat.

My 3yo still uses her infant carseat, which came with a booster-seat option, so we're basically depending on the adult seatbelt (not the carseat) to protect her. By the time she was about 2, we'd loosened the carseat straps as loose as they could go, and they'd become too tight, so we moved the carseat straps to the sides of her body so she didn't have to lean back on them, and started threading the adult shoulder-belt through the carseat-hole above her left shoulder, and just buckled her in like we do our 8yo (well, 8yo does it herself now).

The booster just raises 3yo high enough that she can wear the shoulder-strap comfortably (she's tall like Big Sister). I'm thinking it's safe to use her 3-year-old carseat for this purpose, since we're no longer using the straps, it just boosts her like the fold-down cushion (suggested by Levitt) would. I guess what we're doing costs little extra money, at least not with dd2, since we paid a little extra for the combined infant/toddler seat.

And, no, I'm not saying "saving expenses" is more important than my children's safety. But from what I've seen of Steven Levitt's research, it seems there's not a lot of safety-difference when you compare statistics for children over 2 in standard carseats, with those for over 2's strapped into adult shoulder-and-lap-belts. Having a fold-down seat just sounds less-costly than buying a booster.

According to Levitt, a big chunk of his opposition comes from those with financial interest in carseats.

Thoughts, anyone?

Edited to Add: I'm trying to get the link working ... okay it's working now!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 07-04-2008, 09:34 PM
 
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Hm, a few points:

1) Some minivans do come with built-in booster seats like this. I would guess that they're not more popular because they increase the costs of production and crash-testing, but are not useful for everyone in the market for the vehicle.

2) Two-year-olds are NOT old enough to be in the adult seatbelt, for many reasons. Most jurisdictions require children to be at least four years old and 40" before they're out of a harness. This is the minimum age at which the skeletal structure is developed enough to be restrained safely by a three-point seatbelt. Most children need to be quite a bit older before they can sit properly in a seatbelt, though; the seatbelt only works if someone is sitting up straight, back against the seat back, and children tend to be wiggly.

3) I'm really concerned about the description of how your daughter is restrained. You said "infant seat," which implies to me a certain kind of seat which is only safe to use with the harness. Such seats (the type that are rear-facing-only and often can be removed from a base that stays installed in the car) typically have a weight limit of 22 pounds, though a couple go to 30; they also have lower height limits (a child must have at least 1" of hard plastic shell above their heads when rear-facing). These seats often have notches to allow them to be installed without the base using the car seat belt; this puts the belt over the child, but the belt is NOT in a position to properly restrain the child in a crash. A child in one of these types of seats without the harness on will have no protection in a crash. If your daughter is too tall for the straps to fit, she has almost certainly outgrown the seat by height, if not weight as well.

If, in fact, by "infant seat" you're referring to another type of seat which converts to a booster, and the notch you're using to position the belt is one designed for use when the seat is a belt-positioning booster, she may be properly restrained, but is probably on the young side to be able to sit properly in a booster seat all the time, so would be significantly safer in a seat with a five-point harness that fits.

I realize you didn't post this to get feedback on your own child's seating, but I couldn't just *not* say anything, as I'm sure you're concerned about her safety in the event of an accident, and wouldn't want her to be unprotected.
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Old 07-04-2008, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Ironica! I'll have to look into it more. I definitely want my children to be safe.

Dd's well over 3 now, and being tall, she fits very well into the adult shoulder -strap when on the booster. But, actually, we still thread the shoulder-strap through the hole in her seat that's there for that purpose, so it's an exact fit.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 07-04-2008, 09:40 PM
 
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IIRC, there are some minivans that do just this with 5-point harnesses. Basically there is a rectangle cut-out that folds down to the seat; behind it are stored the 5-pt harnesses. That way, you can fold the seat down for the child or up for an adult. These are optional in only a few vehicles and I don't think they're standard in any, except maybe a minivan. Additionally these are still only recommended for children from ages 4 to 8; I think car seats are still considered safest for preschoolers.


http://www.preventioninstitute.org/traffic_child.html

Integrated child safety seats have been available since the 1980s. The first U.S. auto manufacturer to install integrated child safety seats was Chrysler in 1992. Currently, of the 251 different 2002 vehicle makes reviewed by NHTSA for safety features, only 14, roughly 5%, offered built-in child safety seats as an option. Only one vehicle, the 2002 Chevrolet Venture, provided built-in child safety seats as a standard feature
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Old 07-04-2008, 10:27 PM
 
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A 2 or 3 year old is absolutely not safe in a booster.

Read this.

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Old 07-05-2008, 02:51 AM
 
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A 2 or 3 year old is absolutely not safe in a booster.

Read this.
:

The man is an economist & by no means a safety expert. His research was flawed, his facts are untrue & he really doesn't have anyone's best interest at heart except his own. You can make numerical data say whatever you want. Unfortunately, you can't change the pain & suffering of an injured child or family that lost a LO. Controversy sells & that is what people like him are counting on.

Just search 'seatbelt syndrome' & you'll soon realize that kiddos who live through accidents can suffer horrific injuries that last a lifetime. Boosters help the lap portion fit properly & safely. Hips bones aren't fully developed in kids.

His experiment only showed what happened with the belts being used correctly. How many 2 & 3 yr olds sit still in the car, are always sitting properly & never fall asleep. Plus I'm 24yo, 5'3" & the shoulder belt doesn't fit me properly in most vehicles.
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Old 07-05-2008, 01:37 PM
 
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Yeah, we have a fold-down seat like that in the middle of my car's backseat, and I think it is great for trips where I need to transport a 6-10 yr. old in my car, but for under-5s, they need a 5-pt. harness, preferably with side impact protection. And even 6+ yr. olds are better off in a harness or a good SIP booster. My big for their age 2.5 and 5.5 yr. olds are in 5-pt. harnesses and will be until 7ish and then go to a high-back booster. My tall 2.5 yr. old just had to turn forward-facing, but was rear-facing until he hit 33 lbs. We rarely use the built in booster because it just isn't as safe as the carseats and boosters you can buy separately. It'd be great if it was.
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Old 07-05-2008, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
A 2 or 3 year old is absolutely not safe in a booster.

Read this.
I read it. I found it annoying that the writer seems to perceive some parents as uneducated dolts who are looking for any excuse not to buy their children carseats.

As mentioned by the original writer, or one of the commenters, Levitt's goal wasn't to persuade parents to break the law and quit putting their children over 2 in carseats, but to persuade the public (including car-manufacturers and policy-makers) to look at his research-findings, and consider a simple, low-cost solution for child car safety.

In some ways, it seems like it would increase safety if car manufacturers started putting fold-down cushions in backseats (which would be no problem if an adult were using the seat, as the cushion could just be folded back up), since sometimes parents and children may find themselves riding with someone else in a situation they didn't plan for.

By the way, the reason Levitt did his own research (something commented on in your link) was that the crash-test places didn't want to touch this with a 10-foot pole; they said most of their funding comes from carseat-manufacturers.

I'd think the carseat-manufacturers would welcome such research, if they honestly believed that more complicated and expensive solutions were the best way to ensure safety, because if this were really true the research would bear it out: If they felt Levitt's research was skewed, they could do their own counter-study. It makes me wonders whose best interest they have at heart.

This certainly doesn't mean I'd break the law or do anything risky with my own kids. I'm not saying Levitt's research has me "convinced" -- it's just interesting to me, and something I wish the American policy-makers were more willing to look into.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 07-05-2008, 02:12 PM
 
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5pt harnesses are safer for EVERYONE. No way I'd take a step down in safety that significant for my children if I didn't HAVE to.

-Angela
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Old 07-05-2008, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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5pt harnesses are safer for EVERYONE. No way I'd take a step down in safety that significant for my children if I didn't HAVE to.

-Angela
I don't think that the freedom to consider another option would cause manufacturers to stop producing 5pt harnesses, or prevent parents who deemed them safer from buying them. They'd continue to be produced as long as the market was there for them.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 07-05-2008, 03:07 PM
 
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I don't think that the freedom to consider another option would cause manufacturers to stop producing 5pt harnesses, or prevent parents who deemed them safer from buying them. They'd continue to be produced as long as the market was there for them.
Following that line of thinking- why not just make carseats optional?

Bad idea.

Some minimum standards are needed.

And all children need to be in 5pt harnesses until at least 4 or 5 years old- MINIMUM.

-Angela
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Old 07-05-2008, 03:21 PM
 
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I don't like the idea of 2yo's being strapped in with the adult belt as described in the op as it is too easy for children to take off themselves. However, my local taxi firm has cars where one of the seats folds down like described in the op only it folds down and there is a 5pt harness. I think these seats are great and I would love if they came as standard in other cars.
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Old 07-05-2008, 03:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post

In some ways, it seems like it would increase safety if car manufacturers started putting fold-down cushions in backseats (which would be no problem if an adult were using the seat, as the cushion could just be folded back up), since sometimes parents and children may find themselves riding with someone else in a situation they didn't plan for.

By the way, the reason Levitt did his own research (something commented on in your link) was that the crash-test places didn't want to touch this with a 10-foot pole; they said most of their funding comes from carseat-manufacturers.
3 things:

- the built-in seats they have now do not fit the majority of kids very well, and are not very adjustable. There is a company in the states that sell seats that replace your entire back seat, with integrated carseats, which is an interesting idea, but very expensive.

- His research does not take into consideration the safety of extended rear-facing at all

- Canada does its own independent testing of all carseats IN ADDITION to the testing done by the manufacturer. Our standards are getting tougher rather than looser, and there's really no money in it for the government at all (except the money saved by health canada for all the kids saved by carseats, of course ).

-Levitt is trying to sell books. Carseats drive parents NUTS, and its very tempting to believe research that they are not necessary; however he is not an expert, and the "small" benefit that he admits to has saved many children's lives.
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Old 07-05-2008, 04:04 PM
 
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I read it. I found it annoying that the writer seems to perceive some parents as uneducated dolts who are looking for any excuse not to buy their children carseats.


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As mentioned by the original writer, or one of the commenters, Levitt's goal wasn't to persuade parents to break the law and quit putting their children over 2 in carseats, but to persuade the public (including car-manufacturers and policy-makers) to look at his research-findings, and consider a simple, low-cost solution for child car safety.
True, and while you might have read it and said "cool, that's interesting!" there are parents who read this and go take little Johnny and put him in a booster at 2 years old because one random guy says it's safe. You also said in your OP that your 3 year old is in a booster, and like I said it's not safe just because one guy thinks so.

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By the way, the reason Levitt did his own research (something commented on in your link) was that the crash-test places didn't want to touch this with a 10-foot pole; they said most of their funding comes from carseat-manufacturers.
This is absolutely untrue. There are two groups that conduct crash tests for car seats: the carseat manufacturers themselves prior to releasing a seat, and NHTSA, which is the federal government. Once and awhile some other group comes along and decides to do their own crash testing, like this guy and Consumer Reports. Both just confuse the general public and don't accomplish anything.

As a CPST, this Freakonomics crap just really chaps my hide. I'm working so hard to make kids safer and get them in safe seats and then some random guy comes along and gets tons of press saying that 2 year olds are safe in boosters. It's like banging my head against a brick wall.

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Old 07-06-2008, 02:37 AM
 
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wow...yeh, i can see this having devastating effects.
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Old 07-06-2008, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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True, and while you might have read it and said "cool, that's interesting!" there are parents who read this and go take little Johnny and put him in a booster at 2 years old because one random guy says it's safe.
Again, I don't see why there has to be such a pessimistic view of parents' intelligence.

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You also said in your OP that your 3 year old is in a booster, and like I said it's not safe just because one guy thinks so.
We were doing the booster (with a back) before I'd even heard of this guy.

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This is absolutely untrue. There are two groups that conduct crash tests for car seats: the carseat manufacturers themselves prior to releasing a seat, and NHTSA, which is the federal government.
Well, I only listened to his talk one time, so maybe I got mixed up on what he was saying. My understanding is that the only way he could get a place to let him run the tests, was to pay a really high fee and promise them total anonymity.

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Once and awhile some other group comes along and decides to do their own crash testing, like this guy and Consumer Reports. Both just confuse the general public and don't accomplish anything.
I don't see that it has to be confusing, to look at other options for car safety. What I see it accomplishing, is encouraging people to question everything and look into everything for themselves. Which I see as a good thing.

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As a CPST, this Freakonomics crap just really chaps my hide. I'm working so hard to make kids safer and get them in safe seats and then some random guy comes along and gets tons of press saying that 2 year olds are safe in boosters. It's like banging my head against a brick wall.
Respectfully, maybe this isn't a wall you need to be banging your head on. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to believe in parents a bit more.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 07-06-2008, 11:52 AM
 
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Again, I don't see why there has to be such a pessimistic view of parents' intelligence.
i think its because of the statistics that close to 80% of car seats are installed incorrectly. If parents were so intelligent re: car seat safety, it wouldnt be that high.



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We were doing the booster (with a back) before I'd even heard of this guy.
you can do what you like with your child, but coming to the family safety board and posting that you have your 3 year old in a booster (im assuming that you mean a booster that does not have a 5 point harness...b/c i see that as a source of confusion w/ some posts here) is just asking to be gently told that you do not have your dd in as safe a seat as possible. Im very confused about your description of how your 3 year old is restrained, but i know that my 2.5 is still RF'ing and i suspect he may be at 3 still. Even if he has to be FF at 3, he will be in a 5 pt. harness b/c thats the safest i can get in the US. If I could RF him to 45 lbs, i definitely would but unfortunately there are no seats with a weight limit over 35 lbs. in teh US. It has been proven that RFing is safest, but after that, the 5 point harness should be used. I'm not sure your reasoning if you have her in a seat belt secured booster.



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I don't see that it has to be confusing, to look at other options for car safety. What I see it accomplishing, is encouraging people to question everything and look into everything for themselves. Which I see as a good thing.
have you ever visited teh car seat safety board? parents are very confused about car seats. I consider myself to be a fairly educated person (well, as far as education goes....8.5 years of college); however, since i visited the car seat board i have learned sooo much. Its not "intuition" and most parents dont read their car seat manuals (i never did prior to a few years ago) and most ppl dont know that LATCH has a limit...most ppl dont understand not to use the "after market" products (dont want to get into a debate about that but its NOT recommended). Most ppl will turn their car seat FF'ing at 1 and 20 lbs even though its not the safest way to restrain a small child. The information about car seat safety is out there if you look for it but most ppl dont...they just do what their friends say to do (i am NOT saying anyone here...but i am using "most" to refer to the estimated 80% who install car seats incorrectly. Putting information out there that is confusing and not well researched is going to confuse ppl even more.



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Respectfully, maybe this isn't a wall you need to be banging your head on. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to believe in parents a bit more.
I am very glad she is banging her head....she is probably one of the ones who convinced me to RF to the extent of my seat and who taught me about the issues of car seats on the market now and the ones that are coming out. She is probably one of the ones who has led to me putting my 10 year old in a booster seat even though he had been out of any type of restraint for a few years now. She is probably one of the ppl whose "head banging" led to making my children safer. If it weren't for ppl like her....my children wouldn't be as safe as they are right now.

I believe it will hurt to simply "believe in parents". It hard to do so when you are at a stop light at an intersection and see a kid sticking his head out the window like a little puppy (probably around 5 years old). How do you trust parents to be so careful about which car seats are safest when many times these kids are not even restrained?
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Old 07-06-2008, 12:33 PM
 
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Respectfully, maybe this isn't a wall you need to be banging your head on. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to believe in parents a bit more.

It has nothing to do with "believing in parents". It is that 5-point harnesses are safer. It is that even *if* 3-point harnesses provided adequate restraint for 25-pound crash test dummies, toddlers do not sit still as crash test dummies (they fidget, they fall asleep and slump) and therefore need extra points of contact to keep them in proper position. I don't "believe in parents". I believe in physics.

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Old 07-06-2008, 12:40 PM
 
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My dd will be 4 in a month- no WAY I'd let her ride in a booster. No way. Not around the block.

She was rf until a couple of months ago. She will be harnessed for a LONG time.

I don't understand how you can argue for parents' intelligence in making these decisions when you clearly do not understand the basic physics behind them.

-Angela
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:36 PM
 
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Respectfully, maybe this isn't a wall you need to be banging your head on. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to believe in parents a bit more.
Believe in parents more? Um, you have your three year old in a booster. Three year olds don't belong in boosters. Now you know that, are you going to do something different? Because then, yes, I would believe in parents more. I know three types of parents currently when it comes to car seats, those who do their own research and find out stuff like rf as long as possible, three year olds don't belong in boosters, harness as long as possible, much older kids usually still need boosters, booster until 4'9". That sort of stuff. I call those the careful parents.

Then there are the parents who don't research that stuff for some reason, do what they do, which may include keeping kids in seats they don't fit anymore, putting them into something they aren't big enough for yet, don't have their seat properly installed, or checked but then some careful parent tells them about basic best practices with seat belts and then they gladly change their ways.

Then there are the parents who do the above, get someone to tell them best practices and decide to keep doing what they are doing despite it being potentially harmful even deadly. These folks include parents who let their kids be unrestrained, or not in car seats at very young ages. Some of these parents may not have been told explicitly that their kid at such and such age needs to be restrained or in a car seat but it's just common sense really so I don't excuse them. They obviously see kids in car seats, they MUST know something is up with that right? They choose to be ignorant.

I would say probably at least 80% of parents fall in the last two categories. CPST's work hard to get to those folks, especially the second group. The third group they do bang their head on walls for, because despite their best efforts they don't change their ways. Of course they are trying to move some of that 80% (and I would suggest that most parents fall into the second category, they do better when they know better, and obviously want to have their kids be as safe as they can be) into the 20% of the first category.
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:14 PM
 
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Again, I don't see why there has to be such a pessimistic view of parents' intelligence.
Because people actually think this guy knows what he it talking about...

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We were doing the booster (with a back) before I'd even heard of this guy.
Doesn't mean it's safe.


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Well, I only listened to his talk one time, so maybe I got mixed up on what he was saying. My understanding is that the only way he could get a place to let him run the tests, was to pay a really high fee and promise them total anonymity.
Makes sense, since he is just setting them up for a lawsuit.


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I don't see that it has to be confusing, to look at other options for car safety. What I see it accomplishing, is encouraging people to question everything and look into everything for themselves. Which I see as a good thing.
He's not giving them other options. He's completely contradicting everything that SafeKids, CHOP, Riley's, and every other CPS agency in the world is trying to accomplish.


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Respectfully, maybe this isn't a wall you need to be banging your head on. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to believe in parents a bit more.
Yeah, I'll try that next time I'm at a car seat checkup trying to explain to parents that no, having a 5 month old baby is not ok FF, and having a tiny 2 year old in a booster is not ok even though it's more convenient for the parent

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Old 07-06-2008, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Makes sense, since he is just setting them up for a lawsuit.
But why would there be a lawsuit -- were they breaking some kind of law by allowing him to run tests there?

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, I just did a little checking. I obviously do need to learn more about this. In my state, children under 40 pounds are supposed to be in carseats, not boosters. So, when my youngest first started using her carseat as a booster several months back, she wasn't (quite) 40 pounds yet (but she is now) -- but the straps were just too tight to go around her comfortably.

We'd bought her seat with the understanding that it worked for children 'til such time as they just needed a booster.

We actually did have her rear-facing 'til she got to 20 pounds, which I think is the point where our carseat instructions said she had to go forward-facing. I knew that rear-facing was safer, so kept her rear-facing for as long as it was safe weight-wise.

So, I understand that a 3-pt harness is where you're wearing a shoulder-strap and lapbelt -- and I guess 5-pts would be where a child's got the 2 straps coming over the shoulders, coming together at around the chest, and then latching into the buckle between the legs? That doesn't seem quite like 5-pts, though, so maybe I'm understanding it wrong.

I'm wondering, how many carseats do you recommend buying for one child?

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Old 07-06-2008, 05:19 PM
 
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I'm wondering, how many carseats do you recommend buying for one child?
IMHO it woudl depend on how many different cars she is in. for my son, i think i will only have to purchase 2 seats....he was a perfect fit for the MA (although many babies dont fit in them...some do...he was big enough weight and height wise). we replaced the MA w/ the Blvd. after a bit of research and after a fortuitous accident that my son was not involved in but the car seat was (if i had to do it over again i would have purchased the BV in the beginning). After he's done w/ the BV, he will go into teh Frontier....i suspect that will last him until he's done....but his brother has an Olie that he could use if he wanted...when he's much much older...like 9 or 10.

im not counting car seats for other cars though. but for one car, i would say that many ppl could get by w/ 2 carseats....however, 3 max if you want to add an infant bucket, which are all about the same and could be very inexpensive and only used for 2-3 months until the baby was big enough for a convertible (perhaps longer for smaller babies but i think alot of babies are ok at a few months old...6 tops...for a convertible (and no, not all..not what im saying).
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:27 PM
 
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You buy as many seats as it takes to keep you child safe. My toddler is 18mo, 28lbs & about to get his 3rd round of carseats. He started with an infant seat for the first few months. Then convertible seats that RF & FF. He's still RFing for a while longer. Then he will get a FFing seat with a higher weight limit than 40lbs that converts to a booster. Since my baby is close enough in age he will be handed down seats from his older brother, but if they weren't close enough in age then I would just buy more carseats.

I'm glad you're realizing that there is more to be learned. The instructions for you carseat & vehicle are a good place to start. What carseats do you have? Some seats have harnesses that are outgrown before the child is ready for a booster meaning you will need another harnessed seat. Laws are only the absolute minimums. There's more than that to keep kids safest.

5 points = 2 at the shoulder + 2 at the hips + 1 at the crotch.
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:37 PM
 
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O
We actually did have her rear-facing 'til she got to 20 pounds, which I think is the point where our carseat instructions said she had to go forward-facing. I knew that rear-facing was safer, so kept her rear-facing for as long as it was safe weight-wise.
No, 20 pounds is the bare minimum. Car seats can RF to 35 pounds (it sounds like you have a 3-in-1).

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So, I understand that a 3-pt harness is where you're wearing a shoulder-strap and lapbelt -- and I guess 5-pts would be where a child's got the 2 straps coming over the shoulders, coming together at around the chest, and then latching into the buckle between the legs? That doesn't seem quite like 5-pts, though, so maybe I'm understanding it wrong.
The 5 points in a 5 pt harness are: shoulder, shoulder, hip, hip, crotch.

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I'm wondering, how many carseats do you recommend buying for one child?
It really depends on your need. Right now I have one car seat for each child since we only have one car. I do have a spare in the closet in case we have an accident. Some people have one car seat in each of three cars (mom's, dad's, grandparent's). If you have two cars that your child rides in frequently, I would suggest getting a seat for each car instead of having to switch car seats.

ETA: or did you mean infant, convertible etc? In that case, I don't see the need to get more than two, if you choose a good one right off the bat. The 3-in-1 seats are horrid and you would need to buy a new seat when that is outgrown, but if you got a good convertible with nice tall top slots, you could conceivably use that from birth until it expires at 6 years old. At that point you could either buy a booster or get a seat like the Nautilus or Frontier that would keep the child harnessed for another year or two and then convert to a booster.

CPST & mom

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Old 07-06-2008, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You buy as many seats as it takes to keep you child safe.
Yeah, I figured that -- I was just wondering how many someone usually buys, if they're following all the recommendations on this forum.

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What carseats do you have?
We have a Graco booster for our 8yo. Our 3yo is still using the Safety First carseat we bought around the time of her birth. It actually did have the 5-pt harness -- I'd forgot about the straps that went over her hips, but noticed them when I went out to the car just now, to see what brands we had.

I can't remember exactly when, but sometime after she turned 2, the straps just became too tight. We'd loosened them as far as we could. Since this carseat has a booster option, we thought it must be time to stop using the harness. This seat has holes above each shoulder, so that whichever side the child is on, the shoulder-strap can be threaded through.

I think she was actually over 35 lbs. by this time (she was maybe 2 1/2, and she's a tall, large child) -- but apparently she should have still been in the harness until 40 lbs (we should have got a new one, as I wasn't willing to make her uncomfortable). She's a little over 40 lbs. now.

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Old 07-06-2008, 06:05 PM
 
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Yeah, I figured that -- I was just wondering how many someone usually buys, if they're following all the recommendations on this forum.



We have a Graco booster for our 8yo. Our 3yo is still using the Safety First carseat we bought around the time of her birth. It actually did have the 5-pt harness -- I'd forgot about the straps that went over her hips, but noticed them when I went out to the car just now, to see what brands we had.

I can't remember exactly when, but sometime after she turned 2, the straps just became too tight. We'd loosened them as far as we could. Since this carseat has a booster option, we thought it must be time to stop using the harness. This seat has holes above each shoulder, so that whichever side the child is on, the shoulder-strap can be threaded through.

I think she was actually over 35 lbs. by this time (she was maybe 2 1/2, and she's a tall, large child) -- but apparently she should have still been in the harness until 40 lbs.
What you did was unsafe and put your child in danger. Unfortunately many parents don't realize how to best keep their children safe in the car.

No way a 2 yr old belongs in a booster. At 2 they should really still be rear facing (if they're under 35lbs)

I have never heard of a child outgrowing a carseat by the straps being too tight- but I suppose it's possible with some seats.

3 in 1 seats are a poor choice and a waste of money.

As to your how many seats question- it depends. If your goal was as few seats as possible, you could start with a newborn in a radian. It would last until the child was ready for a booster (depending on their age/size in relation to the expiration of the seat)

My child- dd was in an infant seat, then a wizard (which was replaced by the insurance company after a rear-ending with a boulevard) She is currently nearly 4. The boulevard will last her at least another year, maybe 2 or more. At that point I will get her a harnessed seat - either a high weight dedicated seat (like the regent) or one that converts to a booster (like the frontier or nautilus) So for our main car she will have used (excluding the seat replaced, as the original would have lasted as long) 3 or 4 seats.

-Angela
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Old 07-06-2008, 06:41 PM
 
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I'm wondering, how many carseats do you recommend buying for one child?
Another data point for you: we started with the Britax Companion Infant Seat, which my boy quickly outgrew (he was almost 11 lbs when he was born). That was Seat #1 and was NOT cheap at just under $200.

At about four months, he moved into a Britax Decathlon (Seat #2; $300). I bought a spare Decathlon (Seat #3; another $300) for his godmother who cared for him while I worked.

He's two years old and I've spent almost $1k just in car seats but I don't regret it one bit. His car seat was the MOST IMPORTANT purchase for me and the one for which I did the most research.

DS will be in the Decathlon until he reaches the upper limit of 65 lbs or the height limit. He's in the 90-95th percentile so he'll probably hit the limits a bit more quickly than other kids. At that point, I'll probably buy a Britax Regent (Seat #4) unless they come out with something better in the interim.

Also, someone else mentioned something about their child not wanting to be in a harness. For me, and I am aware this sounds a bit harsh, it is NON-NEGOTIABLE. I'd rather have DS alive and hating me than dead because I gave in on such an important concern.

*I* don't always feel safe with just a lap-shoulder belt and I am a fairly big person (not tall, but plump ). There's a reason that race car drivers and rollercoasters use 5-pt harnesses, and it isn't 'cause they just look so darn cool.
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Old 07-06-2008, 08:10 PM
 
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Respectfully, maybe this isn't a wall you need to be banging your head on. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to believe in parents a bit more.

I'm sorry, but it's hard to believe in parents, or believe that a parent is educated, if they decide to put a 3 year old in a booster. Sorry if that hurts your feelings, but it's true. Someone who is educated would know better. You hardly seem educated on carseat safety, nor do you seem to care. :
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