Friday, December 3, 2010

Free Child Car Seat Fitting

Saturday, December 4, 2010
Morrisville, VT

Have your child's car seat inspected and properly installed by Copley Hospital Birthing Center's certified car seat safety technician in the main parking lot.

By appointment only. Call 802-888-8304

For more information visit: FindandGoSeek

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Find a Car Seat Inspection Center near you.

Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of kids!

While installing and using child safety seats may appear to be easy enough, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated that close to 3 out of 4 parents do not properly use child restraints ... and if you are one of them, that child safety seat may not protect your child the way it should.

It's not only IMPORTANT to have your car seat properly installed, it's EASY!
To find an Inspection Center near you click the link below:

Child Safety Seat Inspection Station

Car Seat Laws from State to State

Since car seat laws vary from state to state and most are still inadequate, you are much better off simply following the guidelines of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and keeping your child who has outgrown his forward-facing car seat in a belt positioning booster seat until they are at least eight years old, unless they are already 4'9" tall. This is because younger children are 'generally too small for an adult seat belt. The lap belt rides up over the stomach and the shoulder belt cuts across the neck. In a crash, this can cause critical or even fatal injuries.'

The American Academy of Pediatrics goes a little further and says that a child isn't ready for regular seat belts until they reach 'about 4'9" in height and is between 8 to 12 years of age.'

To make it even easier, remember that seat belts don't fit properly until the lap belt lays across your child's upper thighs (not his stomach) and the shoulder belt fits across his chest (not his neck).

If you need some convincing about how important this is, consider that in 2001, there were 44,642 injuries from motor vehicle accidents for children three years old and younger, and that grows to 76,248 injuries for children four to eight years of age. Although injuries from motor vehicle accidents aren't tracked as to whether or not a child was wearing a car seat, it is likely that this increase in injuries for older children was because they are less likely to be in a proper child safety seat than a younger child.

So whether you live in Florida, which only requires children up to age three to be in a car seat, or in Wyoming, where the limit is age eight, after your child is about 40 pounds and outgrows his car seat, be sure to graduate to a belt positioning booster seat instead of simply going to seat belts.

It can sometimes be hard to convince school age children about the importance of using a booster seat, especially if many of their friends are already just in seat belts. To help him/her get on board with using a booster it can help to be firm about his sitting in a booster seat and use it all of the time. Make using a booster seat one of the non-negotiable rules of your household and don't give in on the issue.

Helpful tips:

1) don't refer to it as a car seat or baby seat and instead use the terms booster seat, big boy/girl seat, or just safety seat. If your car's back seat has headrests, consider using a backless booster, which to many kids doesn't look like a 'real' car seat.

2) talk about the benefits of sitting in a booster, which besides safety include being able to look out the window, having cup holders, and being more comfortable with the arm rests, etc.

Car Seat Safety Quiz

Children's Car Seat Safety Guide

Friday, November 12, 2010

Car Seat for your pet

Let's keep our pets safe while traveling.

Ok, I know it's a little odd to think car seat for my pet... but I think it's time to bring the subject up. You have a pet, typically you like to bring that pet in the car with you, just like you bring your child. I noticed it in Massachusetts, and am noticing it more here in Vermont as well. Pet owners love their pets like their children and so why not bring them everywhere. Understandable, and completely fine, but please buckle them in properly like I do with my child. Safety for all while driving should be the number one priority.

Unfortunately I see more pet owners driving with their dog in the front seat, and not just in the front seat, but a lot of them with their pets in their laps! How on earth does anyone think that can be a safe way to drive? If I drove with my child in my lap I'd be pulled over in an instant. I don't care if it's just around the block, or on a back road, it's not safe for you, not safe for your dog, and not safe for the other drivers or pedestrians around you.

Fortunately there are car seats to keep your pet safe while transporting. I've found a few websites below that might be helpful in finding the right traveling system for your size dog. It's just like a child, different sizes require different types of restraints.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Why My Carseat Blankie

My Carseat Blankie is what car seat safety experts are calling "Simple, Stylish, and Safe). Visit us online at They are all handmade right here in New England!

Here's how I came up with the idea! After having my second spring time baby, I decided that those full one piece zip up pieces for my car seat were just too warm for my baby. In New England in March and April you never know if it's going to be 30 or 60 degrees!
I wanted something that was light weight, conveniently sized (so there's no extra bulk in front of the babies face like a traditional size blanket), and small enough so if my children decided to make it their "blanky" it wouldn't be to big for them to carry around all the time. And I wouldn't mind if the pattern was something I would love just as much as them...

My Carseat Blankie is the perfect size to fit with infant car seats, and then transfers well to the toddler car seat as a lap blanket. People are even using it in the stroller (they don't hand down and get caught in the wheels) and in the bouncy chair. It really is the perfect size! Some of the preschoolers and kindergardeners even use them for their baby dolls!

While doing a bit of research I recently came across an article on written by a car seat safety expert, that supports the use of a smaller blanket for the car seat vs. the big puffy buntings and zip up one piece units that fit behind the baby and wrap around the car seat.

It has some really great information for new parents about car seat safety and things to think about when you're picking out how to keep your baby warm and safe in their car seat. Even now that my children are 3 and 5 my husband and I battle each winter still, on how thick their coats should be. But after you read this it will help you make the best decision for your family.

We've had our blankies in the car since they were born and they just seem to be the best and safest solution. If it's in the summer and they need to keep their legs warm because of the air conditioning, or the winter to add an additional layer of warmth, or we're on a long drive and they want to take a nap.

Please visit my web site at to see our great selection of blankies.

And TAKE 20% OFF this month by using coupon code FAN and get ready for the Fall Blankie Season.

Helpful links: (to find a location near you for safe car seat installation)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Baby sits rear facing until he/she is 2....

Recently I was out with a group of moms in my town and the topic of car seat safety came up. One of the parents in the group happens to be a pediatrician, so since I've heard a lot of talk lately about the age limit changing for keeping babies rear facing, I asked her the question about how long to keep your child rear-facing.

If you don't already know, The American Academy of Pediatricians and the national highway safety groups are recommending that your child stay rear facing until 2 years old. This is new news, that I'm not sure everyone is aware of. When my little ones were younger (they're only 3 and 5) it was recommended 20 lbs. and at least age 1. Now they are asking that you keep them rear-facing as long as possible, and that that may mean up to 30 or 35 lbs. (my 3 year old is only 32lbs.)

Here's a few bullets of information I've found at to support the idea:
  • Rear-facing is safest everyone, but especially for babies, who would face a greater risk of spinal cord injury in a front-facing car seat during a frontal crash.

  • Rear-facing car seats spread frontal crash forces over the whole area of a child's back, head and neck; they also prevent the head from snapping relative to the body in a frontal crash.

  • Rear-facing car seats may not be quite as effective in a rear end crash, but severe frontal and frontal offset crashes are far more frequent and far more severe than severe rear end crashes. (Statistics. According to Crashtest.Com, frontal and frontal offset crashes combine for about 72% of severe crashes. Side impacts are about 24%. Rear and rear offset crashes only account for about 4%.)

  • Rear-facing car seats are NOT a safety risk just because a child's legs are bent at the knees or because they can touch/kick the vehicle seat.

  • Rear-facing as long as possible is the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatricians, and can reduce injuries and deaths. Motor Vehicle Crashes are the #1 overall cause of death for children 14 and under.

Baby Trends, Britax, Chicco, Combi, Even Flo, Eddie Baur, Graco, Peg Perego and Teutonia USA all have infant car seats that hold baby up to 30lbs, some even higher. Check out Healthy Children for a full listing.

Find out where you can have your car seat inspected or installed correctly at:

Great resources for more information on Car Seat Safety!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


TIPS FOR BUCKLING UP CHILDREN by Julie Prom, a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician instructor representing the National Highway Safety Association's (NIHTSA) safety regulations.

This summer, you will probably be taking to the road whether for quick weekend getaways or extended family vacations. What to pack? Baby's car seat! It's the most important item to bring to ensure your baby gets there safely.

As an injury prevention specialist for over 24 years, as well as a nationally certified Child Passenger Safety Technician Instructor, Julie is passionate about teaching people how to keep children safe when riding in a car. As the mother of four and grandmother of three, her absolute top priority is the safety and welfare of all children. "We can't prevent all of the little bumps and bruises of childhood, but there are steps we can take to reduce the risk of injury to our children. The biggest risk our children face is motor vehicle crashes. Properly securing all children in appropriate car safety seats, booster seats, or safety belts every time is the best defense."

According to research from the National Highway Safety Administration, 3-out-of-4 car safety seats are installed incorrectly.

Here are the four stages of protection for your child in a car. (Every time you move to the next stage, less protection is provided. So, don't be in a hurry to move them! )

1. Rear-facing is safest. Try to keep your child rear-facing until child is at least 24 months old, longer if the car safety seat weight and height limit allows. The American Academy of Pediatrics released new research showing that toddlers are more than five times safer riding rear-facing in a car safety seat up to their second birthday. You may want to start with an infant-only seat for convenience. You will need a convertible seat (one that faces the rear and forward) when your baby outgrows the infant seat.

2. Forward-facing with a harness. Keep your child in a harness until at least 4 or 5 years old. Most kids younger than 5 are not mature enough to sit still without a full harness.

3. Booster seat. Use after your child has outgrown the harness weight limit of her forwarding-facing seat and is mature enough to sit still. A booster will only do its job if your child is seated in it correctly with the vehicle's safety belts positioned properly on him. A wiggly child could be out of position when a crash occurs and not be protected. You may need to buy a car safety seat with a harness that goes to a higher weight if your child is still too wiggly for his booster.

4. Adult safety belt. Use adults safety belt when your child is big enough, usually not until he reaches 4' 9" and mature enough to wear it properly.

Find a car seat installation specialist in your area an

Monday, May 3, 2010

The right infant car safety seat


The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all infants should ride rear-facing starting with their first ride home from the hospital. They should remain rear-facing until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer. At a minimum, children should ride rear-facing until they have reached at least 1 year of age and weigh at least 20 pounds. Now pediatricians are actually recommending children stay rear-facing until at least 18 months if possible.

When children reach the highest weight or length allowed by the manufacturer of their infant-only seat, they should continue to ride rear-facing in a convertible seat.

Infant-only seats

  • Are small and have carrying handles (and sometimes come as part of a stroller system).
  • Are used only for travel (not for positioning outside the vehicle).
  • Are used for infants up to 22 to 35 pounds, depending on the model.
  • May come with a base that can be left in the car. The seat clicks into and out of the base so you don’t have to install the seat each time you use it. Parents can buy more than one base for additional vehicles.

Common questions

Q: What if my baby weighs more than 20 pounds but is not yet 1 year old?

A: Use a seat that can be used rear-facing to higher weights and keep your baby rear-facing as long as possible into the second year of life.

Q: What do I do if my baby slouches down or to the side in his car safety seat?

A: Blanket rolls may be placed on both sides of the infant and a small diaper or blanket between the crotch strap and the infant. Do not place padding under or behind the infant or use any sort of car safety seat insert unless it came with the seat or was made by the manufacturer of the seat.

Q: Can I adjust the straps when my baby is wearing thicker clothing, like in the winter?

A: Yes, but make sure the harnesses are still snug. Also remember to tighten the straps again after the thicker clothes are no longer needed. Dress your baby in thinner layers instead of a bulky coat or snowsuit, and tuck a blanket around your baby over the buckled harness straps if needed. Similar to My Carseat Blankie.

Q: Are rear-facing convertible seats OK to use for preemies?

A: Premature infants should be tested while still in the hospital to make sure they can ride safely in a reclined position. Babies who need to lie flat during travel should ride in a crash-tested car bed. Very small infants who can ride safely in a reclined position usually fit better in infant-only seats; however, if you need to use a convertible seat, choose one without a tray-shield harness. The shields often are too big and too far from the body to fit correctly and the child’s face could hit the shield in a crash.

You can

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Car Seat Basics: Selection and Use

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of kids in age groups 1-14. Safe Kids USA says motor vehicle crashes are the #1 cause of unintentional injury-related death for all children 14 and under. While some crashes are unsurvivable, over 57% of deaths for children 0-15 were because the child was unrestrained. Many more were improperly restrained. Nationally, the misuse rate for child safety seats is over 80% and as high as 95% in some areas. The good news is that correct use of car seats and boosters does save lives. Infant seats have been shown to reduce fatal injury by 71%, and toddler seats by 54%.

You can find out where to have your car seat safely installed at

Ten Basic Rules: (from

  • Kids 12 and under should ALWAYS ride in the back seat. This cuts their risk of death by 36%.

  • Kids should be in a carseat or booster until they can be seated properly in a seatbelt. For most kids, this is around 8 years old or 4' 9" tall, but proper seatbelt fit is the most important factor.

  • Never place a rear-facing carseat in the front seat when there is an active frontal airbag.

  • Keep your baby rear-facing as long as possible. That can mean up to 30, 33 or 35 pounds in most current convertible seats unless they outgrow it by height first.

  • All current car seats pass government safety standards. Select the one that best fits your child, your vehicle and your budget. Some models do have different features; select one that has the features that will allow you to use it correctly EVERY trip.

  • Always read the owners manuals for your vehicle and carseat thoroughly. They often contain specific information about carseat installation that may not be obvious. Some models may vary from what you would expect.

  • Make sure that the harness fits snugly on your child, the carseat fits snugly in your vehicle, and that your vehicle seatbelts are locked properly.

  • When you buy a carseat, make sure you have a good return policy in case it doesn't fit or in case you find you don't like it. Have your seat inspected by a certified technician for free at a checkup event or fitting station.

  • Please be wary of used carseats, especially those over 6 years old, those with an unknown history that may have been in a crash, those that show any form of cracks or damage, and those with missing labels, model number, manufacturing date, instructions or parts.

  • Please give driving your complete, unimpaired attention and wear your own seatbelt all the time. These two simple steps are among these easiest ways you can protect yourself and your passengers from injury or death.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Moving your child out of his car seat or booster too soon

Though safety-seat laws vary from state to state, all require that children under age 3 ride in a safety seat. Experts are unequivocal in their recommendations for safe riding beyond that age:

• Your child should ride in a safety seat with a five-point harness until he weighs at least 40 pounds, or until his shoulders no longer fit under the harness straps. You can use a convertible rear- and forward-facing car seat until your child hits 40 pounds, or the harness system of a car-and-booster-seat combo from as little as 20 pounds up to 40 pounds.

• Your child should ride in a booster seat from the time he weighs 40 pounds and is at least 3 years old until he's 4 feet 9 inches tall and at least 8 years old.

Using an old or secondhand seat?

The best deal, isn't always the safest option.

That safety seat you scored at a garage sale for a fraction of its original price may seem like a bargain, but it could cost your child his life. The same goes for that older-model seat your sister gave you after her child outgrew it... or the one your mother's using from years ago.

Not only are used seats unlikely to come with the manufacturer's instructions (vital for correct installation), but they could be missing important parts, have been involved in an accident (even unseen damage can affect the seat's functioning), fall short of current safety standards, or have been recalled due to faulty design. Moreover, plastic gets brittle as it gets older, so a seat that's too old could break in a crash.

If you must use a secondhand seat, make sure it has the original instructions (or contact the manufacturer for a replacement copy), has all its parts (check the manual), has never been involved in a serious accident, and hasn't been recalled. (Check your seat's recall status here.)

In addition, to avoid the dangers of aging plastic, SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. recommends sticking with car seats that are ideally less than five years old and definitely less than ten years old. You can usually find an expiration date stamped somewhere on the seat.

Check out for more great tips on car seat safety!