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Entries in Car Seat (3)


Apps for Parents: Car Seat Check

I promise, I haven't forgotten about our blog readers - life has gotten a little crazy around our house, to say the least! I'm planning a series of posts on child safety topics (stay tuned!) AND in the market for a convertible carseat, and in the process of my research, I came across a new app from the American Academy of Pediatrics that I thought I'd share (Dr. Brown mentioned it in her previous post on new carseat rules for 2014). It's called Car Seat Check, and it's a great resource for all of those car seat questions that come up. 

To start, enter your child's age and height/weight to find out which type of car seat is recommended. From there, you can find a product guide for the various types of recommended car seats. It lists the name, weight and height limits, and an average price. You can sort any of those topics (by price might be most helpful). It took me a few minutes to realize that you had to scroll to the right to see all of the information for each seat. 

There's also various safety information included - ranging from installation help to travel tips to links to carseat recalls. There are several videos that help with installation (youtube works great too!) if you need some visual tips. Finally, they've included a list of FAQs that answers some common questions that come up.

The downside to this app is that it costs $1.99 (wish it was free). The comparison information is also available on the AAP website, which may be all that you need, but the interactive nature of the app is also nice. Keep in mind that the AAP is not endorsing any specific car seats, but instead is providing information to consider when purchasing a car seat, which is based on current AAP car seat recommendations. 

Car seats are life saving, but it can be confusing to figure out which one to buy and then how to install it. Take the time to ensure that the car seat you have is right for your child (you can always ask your pediatrician too). Also, make sure that your car seat is properly installed, as it can be tough to get them installed properly. Don't hesitate to find a Child Passenger Safety technician to help if you need it (the app can help you with that too)! 

Check out Dr. Brown's previous posts on new car seat rules for 2014 and rear facing guidelines for even more great information on car seats for your little ones!


New year, new car seat rules 

Happy New Year!  Today, as we all consider our new years resolutions, add this one to your list:  figure out the weight of your child plus the weight of their car seat. 

The reason?  Effective next month (February 2014), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSSA) requires that the LATCH system should be used to secure your child's car seat ONLY if the combined weight of the child + the car seat is less than 65 pounds.  

LATCH anchors, found in cars built after 2002, are an attacment system for car seats (LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Chidlren). LATCH was designed with the goal of making it easier to install child car seats.  And for anyone who hasn't had the pleasure of wrestling a car seat into proper position, I will attest that it can be really, really hard to get those darn things installed without those blessed LATCH anchors.

Unfortunatley, car manufacturers cannot guarantee the strength of the anchors when adding the additional weight of the seat, thus the need to modify the law. 

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FYI: Rear Facing until 2 years 

We recently celebrated my son, Henry's, second birthday at our house and along with the balloons and cupcakes came more excitement - turning him forward facing in his car seat!  My husband and I were more excited about the change than Henry. Although he seems pleased with his new vantage point, his reaction was rather underwhelming once it came time for his first forward-facing car ride.

Two years may seem like a long time to be rear-facing, especially since we pediatricians used to recommend turning kids around in their car seats as early as their first birthday.  However, in March 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) changed the recommendation to keep children rear facing as long as possible - at least through 2 years.   Many of you have older children who were turned around at 1 year and did just fine, so...very reasonably, we are often asked about the reasoning behind this change in recommendations.

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