Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wishing All a Safe & Happy Holiday!

As we head out to our various holiday destinations (H Barry Boo included), I just wanted to send a small reminder to please drive safely and wear your seat belts -- every occupant, even pets! 

In case of a crash, your seat belt will help:
  • Keep you from getting banged around the car's interior
  • Keep you from getting ejected
  • Keep you from colliding with another passenger
  • Keep your body in optimum position if the airbag deploys
Also, take off your coats (and baby's too, obviously) and position the belts correctly:  across the hips (not the belly), and across the middle of the shoulder (NEVER behind the back). 

Thanks to everyone for their holiday greetings and treats!  Take care out there and enjoy.  'See you in a few...!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Space Bags Illustrate Puffy Coat Risk

Some people just do not believe that a puffy coat could really matter that much.  I think I have a way to illustrate the point:  Space Bags.

You know the commercial.  You know you really want one.  Put sweaters, blankets, or coats in the special zip loc bag.  Suck the air out of it with a vacuum hose.  Watch it shrink down and resemble a crumpled leaf.  Slide it under the bed and voila, no more puff.  Here's a thirty-second demonstration.

After the holidays I swear I'm going to get some at Bed Bath & Beyond and record my own demonstration.  If anyone else gets to it first, please let me know and link it to my Facebook or to the comments section!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Welcome South Dakota!

For three years I have been staring at a map of the continental US and chanting, "Idaho, South Dakota, Montana..." because these were the only three states in the union where I had NOT YET sold a Car Seat Poncho.  People from Alaska and Maine have bought Car Seat Ponchos, as well as people in California, Louisiana and Florida (which surprised me, but what the heck).  But year after year, nary a peep from that upper swath of the mountain region.

After today, my chant will be a shorter chant because the lovely Diana from Brandon SD called and ordered a Small Denim Camo Reversible, a matching hat and a blanket for her grandson.  And tonight as I pack and ship her order, I whisper, "Forty eight down... two to go.  Take heed, Idahoans and Montanans, take heed!"

Sunday, December 13, 2009

What's your favorite holiday song?

For me, its' definitely "All I Want For Christmas," by Mariah Carey.  I love the melody, backing vocals, arrangement and, of course, her charismatic performance.  I hope this song is making her a rich woman (or "an even richer woman"), because every time I hear it, I just get joy.  What's your fave?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I Am Now A Certified CPS Tech!

After much encouragement from CPS techs and instructors around the country, I attended the NHTSA Child Passenger Safety Training Program this week.  Today, I was officially certified as a technician!

The program consisted of three days of classroom work, hands-on training activities and tests, then one day of installs.  We were given different "dummy" children and asked to choose and install the appropriate seat for their height, weight and age.  We were given different child/restraint scenarios and asked to identify installation errors and misuse.  Finally, we conducted installations for the general public while being observed and evaluated by CPS instructors. 

During one of my installs, I advised a mom against using the Bundle Me in her infant's car seat.  In another, I advised a mom to take off her son's puffy jacket.  When she looked at it, she was aghast at the puffiness in the back AND the front, and how much slack that would generate under a harness.  Both of these things I knew before going into certification, but now, since we had discussed it in class, I had relevant authority in my advice.

Whew! It was a grueling week -- but totally, absolutely worth it.  Along the way, I met some really great people -- police officers and emergency responders from all over the state.  We got to know each other pretty well, had some good laughs over lunch, during breaks.  And now we're certified!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

2-Month Old Ejected From SUV (Alaska)

Found this story via Google Alerts. The child was not seriously injured (miraculously):

Tsk, tsk, though: The mom interviewed in the story (not the crash mom) says she does everything she can to keep her 5 month old safe and secure in his car seat, but when they show him, the harness straps seem absolutely un-tightened. Am I seeing this right?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Rear-Facing Advocate Is a Fan of the Car Seat Poncho!

Jim Peralta, aka "Grandpa Jim" is a fan of the Car Seat Poncho.  He purchased several for his grandchildren, and posted a link to our store on his website.

Jim is also a vocal advocate of extended rear-facing, because his grandson, Joel, was critically injured in a car crash.  The impact of the collision threw his body forward, and his car seat did its job of restraining him. But at 18 months, his skeleton was not mature or strong enough to keep his head from being thrown toward the front of the car.  Joel's neck was broken.

As Jim posted on Car-Seat.Org, "Some of the doctors put it in very simple terms...his skull, internally, became detached from his body... and was basically held on with his skin."

Babies and toddlers are not protected from neck and spinal cord injuries in the forward-facing position. The head is the heaviest part of the body at that age, and even at "low" speeds like 30 mph, a child's head would be thrown forward and pull the rest of the spinal cord with it. It's a very graphic term, but it's technically known as internal decapitation.  The American Association of Pediatrics recommends at least 2 years rear-facing, even better would be to rear-face to the height and weight limits set by your car seat's manufacturer.

Watch the news video:
Keep up with Joel's progress: