Hello from the beautiful Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate! Several of the CSFTL team are here attending the 11th annual child passenger safety conference of Kidz In Motion. On Wednesday, we had the opportunity to attend technical workshops, both of which provided us with new tools for assisting families and caregivers. One of these was called “The Technician Tool Kit” which gave us the best thought of the day, “nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” As technicians and advocates, our goal is to leave a child safer than when he came to us. Knowledge is important, and is something we all need, but we do what we do in Child Passenger Safety (CPS) because we care and we want to help people. One study presented showed that families make an average of 5.1 mistakes per car seat. That really hit home how important it is that families receive this life-saving information.
Technology can be a fantastic tool, but it isn’t always the best one in our kit. Simple things like a hair tie, beads on a string, or a tea towel can make a big impact at seat checks and educational events. How? Use a hair tie to bind a rolled up the excess tether anchor strap after installing it or stowing it. Use an inexpensive tea towel to demonstrate how to roll a wash cloth or blanket for supporting baby (when allowed) in his car seat, or use one to protect the car seat when placing it on the ground. What can you do with five feet of belt webbing? Show new parents how to perform the pinch test, show kids and parents how tall they might be when they outgrow the need for a booster, or even demonstrate proper belt fit. Beads on a string? The red beads are a visual to show that a newborn’s spinal column (bones and ligaments) can stretch up to 2″, whereas the spinal cord inside (shown with the white bead) can stretch only 1/4 of an inch. The entire length of the string, approximately 6″, reflects how far the child’s head can travel forward. If the spinal cord is forced to stretch more than it can, it breaks, leaving baby paralyzed or worse.
Overall, we were reminded that our job is to educate and empower caregivers. We do what we do for you!
Chicco– The KidFit booster debuted in January 2015. The KidFit Zip, featuring the zip off cover offered on the NextFit convertible and KeyFit rear facing only car seats will arrive in store in October 2015. The KidFit is currently a Target exclusive. Our review of the Chicco KidFit high back booster will be available during Child Passenger Safety Week during the week of September 13-19, 2015.
Dorel– we were thrilled to hear that all Dorel convertible car seats will have a two-year minimum to forward face by the end of 2015. The Safety 1st Grow and Go All In One convertible car seat was shown in a lovely new pattern of denim blue with coral piping. Look for our review of the Safety 1st Grow and Go All In One convertible car seat very soon! The new Safety 1st Grow and Go Air will be debuting in December 2015 and will feature the Air protect feature that is seen on several other Safety 1st seats. Dorel is also introducing the Safety Elite EX 100 convertible car seat. It will be rear facing 5-50lbs, 19-49″ forward facing 22-65 lbs and 40-100 lbs as a booster. This seat will also have the two-year minimum to forward face.
Graco- Graco brought with them the new no-rethread harness Nautilus as well as their new seats, the Graco Atlas 65 and the Tranzitions 65. Both will offer a no-rethread harness and will harness 22-65 lbs. and then convert to into boosters and be at a lower price than the current Nautilus. The Atlas is approximately the same size as the Nautilus, but the Tranzitions, as the cup holders are designed differently, is slightly more narrow making it a possible contender for three across. We can’t wait to do a full review, so watch for it!
Hauck/I’Coo– A German company that has been in business for many years in the European market has recently introduced a rear facing only seat in the US. This seat is not a European seat that has been revamped for the US market, but a brand new seat built from the ground up for the American market. The seat is marketed under both Hauck and the I’Coo brands. The Hauck is called the Pro-Safe 35 and the I’Coo is called the iGuard 35. The I’Coo will feature premium fabrics and will come as part of a travel system. Both seats feature the V Smart Harness Alignment system. This system allows the harness to be closer together at the shoulders for newborns, and as the child grows, and the straps are adjusted higher, the harness gradually gets farther apart. The handle features an Anti-Rebound Position. The base of the seat features a built-in lock off that also controls the recline of the base. It was a neat feature to see and should be user friendly to parents. Both the Hauck and I’Coo versions have the same weight/height limits: 4-35 lbs and up to 32″. The I’Coo version of the seat will be coming home with our CSFTL team and we will have a review up soon!
Huggable Images– Our friends from HI were here showing off their wonderful collection of training dolls that we so often use for our reviews here at CSFTL. Admin Laurel brought our HI infant with her, Fiona, and Admin Jenn brought Jo, the preemie doll. Jo had a bit of hold up in TSA because well, babies full of sand don’t x-ray well and people want to know why you have a baby in your carry on. Don’t fret, she passed the explosives screening with flying colors! Here is Laurel hanging out with the 57″ training doll. At least we didn’t make her sit in any boosters this time!
Nuna– We stopped by and said Hi, but no new product was available at this time. You can read our review on the Nuna Pipa though to see what they are currently offering.
Special Needs Manufacturers– Not as well-known, but still available to us at the conference were Columbia Medical, Convaid, and Thomashilfen. These are manufacturers of special needs seats for a variety of transportation issues that arise from having a child, or even an adult, with special needs. We have several Special Needs certified Admins on the CSFTL team if you need help in this area.
In the afternoon, one of our Admins attended a very informative session with Charles Vits, the Marketing Development Manager for IMMI, and Dr. Alisa Baer, The Car Seat Lady. They discussed The Case for the Portable Car Seat and Dr. Baer’s work with uberFAMILY. Great strides have been made to keep the families and children of NYC and other large cities safer. You can learn more about the training she does with the uber drivers on her website.
Other Admins also attended workshops which featured presentations on keeping those little Houdinis in their car seats and Jedi mind tricks! Stay tuned for Day 2 of the KIM Conference.