Kids Need a Boost!–For Longer than You Might Realize

Many caregivers and children alike–at one point or another–start to long for the days of being able to go on car rides without needing additional, non-standard safety equipment.–Specifically, car seats or booster seats.

While these critically important safety devices have evolved significantly over the years–many even have features which would practically rival the most comfortable of recliners–as a whole, boosters are still grossly misunderstood.

More children are staying in 5-point harnesses for longer, but many still transition out of them, into seat belt positioning booster seats much too early.  Because booster seats are still undervalued, they are also underutilized.–Children are not using booster seats for nearly as long as they need to be in order to be adequately protected in the event of a sudden stop or a crash.

But the Law Says…

While your state law may only require a child to use a booster until age 8 (sometimes even younger!), or you may hear that once they’ve reached the “magic height” of 4’9″ that they no longer need a booster seat.  However, children do in fact need boosters for much longer than that.  On average, children need to use boosters until somewhere between 10-12 years of age, and until they pass The Five-Step Test

Super Car Seat Geek Skeleton Seat Belts
Seat belts are designed to fit adult skeletons. Kids need a boost!

Why is a Booster So Important?

It’s important to remember that seat belts are designed to fit adults, not kids.  The purpose of a booster seat is that it “boosts” the child up, so that the seat belt fits them properly, contacting the strongest points of their body, further preventing injury to the more vulnerable areas of their body.  For more information, there’s a fantastic video which was released by the Car Safety Now organization which can be found on our Facebook page as well as on their website.  I strongly recommend watching it, but I will caution you–the subject matter is, of course very serious.  The video portrays a car crash, and subsequent injuries are simulated.  As such, there are parts of it which some viewers may find too difficult to watch.

What’s Safest for My Child?

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and confused.  Because there are so many variables to consider, there’s really no one-size-fits-all solution.–An option which might be best for one child may not be the safest option for the next child.  Try to keep in mind that transitioning between the various stages of child passenger safety  (rear facing to forward facing; forward facing to booster; booster to seat belt) should not be rushed.
You can take a look at some options which I frequently recommend here but for personalized recommendations I invite you to contact me directly.  I’m always happy to help!

High Back Boosters: Level Up

Do you have an older child who's now in a high back booster? Did you know that the way that the seat belt is routed through the booster is essential to how it functions in the event of a crash?  Make sure that the seat back is adjusted so that the shoulder belt is coming from above the child's shoulders.
Do you have an older child who’s now in a high back booster? Did you know that the way that the seat belt is routed through the booster is essential to how it functions in the event of a crash?
Make sure that the seat back is adjusted so that the shoulder belt is coming from above the child’s shoulders.

Air Bags aren’t for Kids

airbag warning meme1

Remember–airbags are designed for adults, not kids. A child sitting in front of an airbag can be seriously hurt or killed (and air bag sensors are *not* reliable!). Kids need to stay in the back seat until they’re at least 13 years old. (And of course, a rear facing seat should never go in front of an active air bag!)

Precious Cargo: a Guest Post by Lehigh Valley Find & Go Seek 12/27/13

Precious Cargo

What could be more important than ensuring that your children are as safe as possible when driving around town?

I have followed Super Car Sear Geek on Facebook for a while watching for tips, deals on car seats and interesting facts about car seat safety.  It became clear very quickly that Abbie (aka Super Car Sear Geek) knows her stuff and is truly passionate about what she does. Her Lehigh Valley Car Seat service offers FREE car seat checks to parents and caregivers in the region and has invaluable advice for families through her courses, checks and other available services. Recently partnering up with fellow CPST Erica McCabe the service has now expanded to provide car seat checks in the Pocono region also!

Personally, I thought I knew everything I needed to know (I bet you do too).  Abbie can teach even a seasoned parent some new tricks for keeping safe while driving ( I promise!).  Attending a class and scheduling a car seat check probably are not high on your to do list, they weren’t high on mine either.  Keep reading and see why you might want to re-evaluate that to-do list, it will be worth your while!  I cannot say enough how much this class and car seat check boosted my confidence in my ability to secure my children in our vehicles.  It say sound “geeky” but the first time I drove with them in the back seat I thought to my self “I KNOW they are as safe as they can be” and I actually felt better and safer while driving them around.

Car Seat Class

I recently attended her “Crash Course: Car Seat Safety for Caregivers” at The Growing Place (www.thegrowingplacepa.com) in Emmaus. Abbie presented her course in an interactive, engaging way, by asking questions quizzing us on our past knowledge and by letting us be the inspectors of the seats shown above.  She used videos that showed the severe impact that children endure during crashes.  These videos showed in real time how improperly restrained children sustain impact during a crash.

One of the most important items discussed which is extremely relevant during the cold winter months, is the fact that children are NOT to wear bulky winter coats while restrained in a car seat or boosters!  Abbie had creative suggestions for how to keep kids warm and safe during the chilly winter months.  This class is highly recommended to parents-to-be, current parents, child care providers, and grandparents and would make a great gift!

The Growing Place

  I attended my course at The Growing Place (http://thegrowingplacepa.com/) in Emmaus. This local business offers a variety of services to parents, parents-to-be and caregivers.  Pre-natal massage, breastfeeding classes, birthing classes, doula services, car seat safety, baby sign language and more! This unique center hosts a variety of services that support families and mothers/mothers to be.  They also host a free mom’s group for mothers and their children the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month.  Their home-like setting is comfortable and welcoming and is tucked just off of Main St. in Emmaus making it quite convenient. Stop in to see their location and meet their friendly staff or drop in to their mom’s group and meet some new friends and playmates.

 Checking the Seats

Abbie and I met to check our current seats for proper installation and fit.  Her evaluation was so thorough, I was very impressed. She checked each child’s weight and height and evaluated how they were sitting in their current seats.  She determined our older child was near to growing out of her seat, which hadn’t occurred to me yet!  There are factors that go into determining a fit that Abbie knew and I did not. Her check was much more comprehensive than the check we received from the local police station and The Personalized Quick Reference Guide seat she left us with is a great reference tool to follow along with and monitor for when our children are ready for another switch.

Car Seat Concierge

When purchasing car seats for our children the first 2 times we focused mainly on price, height and weight, looking for something that seemed to last a while and would meet our child’s needs.  If you ever been to the car seat section at Buy Buy Baby or Babies R Us, you understand the veritable jungle that one encounters when shopping for a car seat, its a nightmare, how could you possibly pick the perfect seat at the best price to last a long as possible?!?! Abbie helps with this too, her car seat concierge service evaluates every variable that goes in to picking a seat and guides you to choose the best seat for your budget, child and car.

  • vehicle make/model
  • multiple vehicle usage
  • child’s height/weight/age
  • rear facing or forward facing variables
  • price point/affordability

Her extensive experience with different seats, vehicles models and safety regulations will guide you in your purchase.  This service was AMAZING! She guided us in our purchase, helped find a great deal on the seat we needed after noticing that we were about to outgrow the current seat being used. She evaluated our needs for a seat and  made recommendations based our our children’s specific needs.  I would never have been able to navigate the 1,000’s of available seats with such ease had it not been for Abbie’s advice. Our daughter was so excited by her new seat when it arrived, we regretted not wrapping it up for Christmas!

I highly recommend this service to anyone who is looking for a new seat for their child, it is 100% worth the cost, especially in that Abbie certainly knows where to find a great deal on seats, so your cost could easily be cancelled out by the savings you get on a great deal.

 

Contact 
Interested in scheduling a free car set check? You can contact Abbie by phone or e-mail or through her facebook page. Like her page on facebook to follow along for great tips and tricks!

Abbie Patterson
https://www.facebook.com/SuperCarSeatGeek 
(484) 544-3664
abbieCPST@gmail.com

Want to find a class to attend?  Keep an eye on

www.facebook.com/SuperCarSeatGeek

www.thegrowingplacepa.com

http://www.jujumonkey.com/

What people are saying … See reviews and raves about Abbie’s services herehttp://lehighvalley.findandgoseek.net/listing/super-car-seat-geek-/healthy-families

 

Thanks for visiting and please be sure to stop byhttp://lehighvalley.findandgoseek.net for more Lehigh Valley family resources, activities and fun for kids!

(The original blog post can be found at: http://lehighvalleyfindandgoseek.blogspot.com/2013/12/precious-cargo.html )