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  1. #1
    CPS Technician April's Avatar
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    Today's Parent Car Seat Article

    I got my January 2010 issue of Today's Parent Magazine in the mail tonight. There is an article on pages 69-70 regarding car seat usage. Although there were a couple of good points, such as not to use snowsuits or bundle me's and to use a RF convertible if the child is over the weight or height limit of their infant seat prior to a year, I was actually dismayed when I read the last part which basically slams ERF. The full article can be found here. Click to the second page to read the paragraph entitled "Is Rear Facing Safer?" Text of that paragraph is as follows (bolding mine):

    "A 2009 study in the British Medical Journal says that children up to age four are significantly safer in rear-facing car seats than in forward-facing ones. That’s because the force of a sudden stop in an accident is spread over the child’s whole body in a rear-facing seat; in a forward-facing seat, all of the child’s body weight is thrown against the harness. However, there are challenges: It’s hard to get a car seat big enough to hold the average four-year-old comfortably in a rear-facing position, these seats can be expensive, and many parents find road trips difficult when they can’t easily see or interact with their children. Not to mention that most kids don’t like it — who wants to stare at the back of the seat? If more studies support this as the safest position, though, we may see new legislation in the future."

    I would ask that anyone who is able, write to the magazine to debunk some of the ERF myths perpetuated in this article. This is a mainstream parenting magazine geared toward parents of very young children, and I feel it does a great disservice to the message us as techs and advocates are trying to get out there.

    April-CRST
    "Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother." ~Oprah Winfrey
    DD1-11 years: seatbelt
    DS1-10 years: seatbelt DD2-7.5 years: lightrider
    DS2-6.5 years: parkway DD3-2.5 years: RF RNXT

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  3. #2
    CPS Fanatic SavsMom's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Parent Car Seat Article

    Do they have an email address? Perhaps we should bombard them with photos of older kiddos who are comfortably rear facing.
    Articles like that make me angry

    DD - 12/07 - Backless Turbo
    DS - 9/13 - Boulevard

  4. #3
    CPS Technician autumnlily's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Parent Car Seat Article

    I have pictures of my kids ERF including my 4 year old, who prefers to ride RF, in a new $118 Graco My Ride...

    I'll try to compose something ASAP and both mail and try to email them. How ridiculous of them. They completely debunk 4 year olds RF but don't emphasis that up to age two or three is GREAT too... anything beyond 20lb and 1 year.

    Must edit my comment now that I have read the article... okay, so they say that ERF is better and that purchasing a convertible after infant bucket so that baby can ERF longer is better. I'm glad they mentioned that. BUT, it is still upsetting that they generalize that a 4 year old is bored RF and downplay the importance in that 2nd to last paragraph. It's as if, what they wrote in the beginning is hogwash in their eyes but they had to put it there...grr.
    Misty, CPST and SK Senior Checker

  5. #4
    CPS Technician Calleiah's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Parent Car Seat Article

    Well, I just sent them a long letter through the contact portion of the website. Ill post what I sent them if anyone is interested. That really peeves me off, the way they reinforce common ERF myths and emphasize convenience over safety. Those very things are some of the reasons it's so hard to combat the FF asap mentality.
    Former CPST and momma to 4
    Katie, Mia, Liam, & Kian
    all riding safe in our '14 Nissan NV "TARDIS"

  6. #5
    CPS Fanatic bubbaray's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Parent Car Seat Article

    Hmmm, not sure I'll write to them or cancel over this. Just skimmed the article and it basically does make the point that ERF is safer. 2nd main paragraph says:

    What’s your best option? Elaine Dimitroff of Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation Road Safety Office says keeping him rear-facing is the better choice. “The law is only a minimum requirement, and it’s better to keep your child rear-facing until he or she is at least a year old. At that point, his neck muscles will be better developed and he’s less likely to be injured in an accident.” If your baby has outgrown the infant seat but is under a year old, Dimitroff recommends switching to a convertible seat (a larger seat that can be used in either rear-facing or forward-facing positions) and keeping baby rear-facing.

    I think OP's bolded parts ARE challenges for Canadian parents. If you live outside of a metro area, your car seat choices are pretty much limited to what Walmart or Zellers carry (unless you want to pay horrendous shipping charges and most parents don't). How many ERF seats are available to the average parent here? Not many. The 50lb 3-in-1's, possibly (do we even have them here yet? can't remember). I don't really consider 35lb seats ERF seats, though. I guess if you consider a seat with that labelling an ERF seat, the TF fits the bill and is widely available at Zellers, but that's about the only one. The RN is hard to find outside of major centers and has install issues in some vehicles, so its not a seat I'd suggest buying sight unseen and having shipped to Nunavut, KWIM?

    I guess my hope with the TP's article is that it pressures big box retailers to carry more ERF seats.
    Melissa

    DD#1, April 2004, FFg in a Pink Harmony Literider & Onyx Parkway SG
    DD#2, January 2007, FFg in a Pink Monterey & Purple with Pink Hearts HBTB

    Riding in my 2010 Toyota RAV4 and DH's 2011 Ford 150 Crew Cab

  7. #6
    Forum Ambassador TechnoGranola's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Parent Car Seat Article

    Quote Originally Posted by bubbaray View Post
    Hmmm, not sure I'll write to them or cancel over this. Just skimmed the article and it basically does make the point that ERF is safer. 2nd main paragraph says:

    What’s your best option? Elaine Dimitroff of Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation Road Safety Office says keeping him rear-facing is the better choice. “The law is only a minimum requirement, and it’s better to keep your child rear-facing until he or she is at least a year old. At that point, his neck muscles will be better developed and he’s less likely to be injured in an accident.” If your baby has outgrown the infant seat but is under a year old, Dimitroff recommends switching to a convertible seat (a larger seat that can be used in either rear-facing or forward-facing positions) and keeping baby rear-facing.
    That to me does not say ERF is safer. It says to me that it's better to wait until a year to switch and not switch sooner because at a year your child is less likely to be injured.

    Quote Originally Posted by bubbaray View Post
    I think OP's bolded parts ARE challenges for Canadian parents. If you live outside of a metro area, your car seat choices are pretty much limited to what Walmart or Zellers carry (unless you want to pay horrendous shipping charges and most parents don't). How many ERF seats are available to the average parent here? Not many.
    So true. The good thing is, the My Ride is now showing up at Wal-Mart! Woohoo! So, ONE seat. And TRU/BRU has the My Ride and the Complete Air, so two there. As far as I know, you can get the Radian anywhere other than baby boutiques in Canada, correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by bubbaray View Post
    I guess my hope with the TP's article is that it pressures big box retailers to carry more ERF seats.
    Agreed. Would be nice if TRU/BRU and Wal-Mart in Canada, carried the Radian like they do in the U.S.!

  8. #7
    CPS Fanatic bubbaray's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Parent Car Seat Article

    I guess its all in how you read it. It is saying "keep your baby RFg" which I might optimistically read as "stay RFg". Its a whole lot better than prior articles which were generally, woohoo, baby has outgrown the infant bucket, time to get him into a low back booster (ok, kidding on that, but you get my point).

    I've never seen the RN anywhere except at baby speciality stores. I have not seen the MR at Walmart (looked last week here in the Lower Mainland). All I saw at our SuperWalmart last week was Scenaras and 3-in-1's -- and of course boosters. I didn't even see a CrappoSport.

    I don't really consider TRU/BRU widely accessible for most Canadians.
    Melissa

    DD#1, April 2004, FFg in a Pink Harmony Literider & Onyx Parkway SG
    DD#2, January 2007, FFg in a Pink Monterey & Purple with Pink Hearts HBTB

    Riding in my 2010 Toyota RAV4 and DH's 2011 Ford 150 Crew Cab

  9. #8
    Forum Ambassador TechnoGranola's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Parent Car Seat Article

    Quote Originally Posted by bubbaray View Post
    I don't really consider TRU/BRU widely accessible for most Canadians.
    I was just pointing out that it's a big box store that carries the item. Good for anyone in a major city in their province. And now that Wal-Mart is getting the My Ride (I didn't say all Wal-Marts had it yet although I wouldn't know if mine did since I don't shop at Wal-Mart) at least there IS a choice for those in smaller cities. Especially considering the MR just showed up in Canada last month. And really, it's only one of two high weight RF seats available in Canada at the moment. (the new Radians aren't quite here yet are they?).

    The one good thing about TRU/BRU is that shipping is cheap (was $7.95 for me when I ordered my MR and I live nowhere near Ontario where it was shipped from). There are places to get free shipping on the Radians well when they arrive. The main problem is, if the seat doesn't work in your vehicle, the shipping costs to get the seats back are the pain.

    I am surprised Wal-Mart doesn't have the Complete Air. Maybe purely due to its ridiculous price tag?

  10. #9
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Parent Car Seat Article

    I am surprised Wal-Mart doesn't have the Complete Air. Maybe purely due to its ridiculous price tag?
    Down here it's a BRU exclusive until the end of the year. Same deal?
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

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    Re: Today's Parent Car Seat Article

    Quote Originally Posted by TechnoGranola View Post
    The one good thing about TRU/BRU is that shipping is cheap (was $7.95 for me when I ordered my MR and I live nowhere near Ontario where it was shipped from).
    I just want to say that TRU shipping is definately NOT cheap if you live anywhere that's even somewhat remote...I was going to order a $20 toy for DS last year, and the shipping on it was $38 (It was a little Thomas engine)

    But yes, there are places to get the RN with free shipping, but not everyone can afford a $300 seat.

  12. #11
    CPS Fanatic Shaunam's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Parent Car Seat Article

    What bothers me is that the article says it's safer to rf to age 4, but that it's "not reasonable" for most people so they don't even bother stressing erf'ing at all. Just "get a convertible if they hit 20 lbs before a year". Even if they stressed rf'ing to age TWO, it would have made a MUCH better article. But you come away from it that rf'ing is not reasonable so you might as well just flip them at a year. A scenera will get most kids to age 2. There's no reason they couldn't have mentioned that even if you can't/won't pay for a bigger rf'ing seat, you can still rf TO THE LIMITS which for a lot of kids is age 2-3 in even the smaller convertibles.

    A poorly written article, IMO.
    Shauna, mom to Adrian (9 yrs, 54" and 83 lbs), in an Evenflo Amp and Charlie (6 yrs, 42" and 35 lbs), in an Evenflo Titan 65.

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  14. #12
    Carseat Crazy aisraeltax's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Parent Car Seat Article

    not to be a devil's advocate, but i do agree that its hard to find a car seat to hold the average 4 year old. my son will be 4 on 1/1 and is in a Radian XTSL..its the ONLY seat that he will be riding in at 4, b/c he's close to 40 lbs. right now (so the MR and Radian XT is not going to be good for him after another lb.). He is not a fat kid at all..he's actually pretty skinny.

    i dont agree with the rest of the sentence, but when they preface it w/ the typical 4 year old argument, i tend to agree.

    i wish there were more options.

    and of course, if i had another car, the Radian XTSL may not even be an option. my friend can NOT get it installed RF'ing in her car (subaru).
    Rachel, mom to 5 boys, 22, 16, 8, 5 and 1.
    5 and 8 year olds in Britax Frontiers; baby in Britax Chaperone.

  15. #13
    Forum Ambassador TechnoGranola's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Parent Car Seat Article

    I agree Rachel. I think what bothers me is what others have mentioned, that they make it seem like you just have to make it to that bare minimum of a year when they have more strength and only buy a convertible if you're baby outgrows the infant seat before one. They SHOULD have said "RF is safer at ANY age, so best practic is to RF to the height and weight limits of your convertible car seat" and "when you're baby outgrows the infant seat, you need to buy a convertible to keep them rear-facing to the limits of that convertible seat".

  16. #14
    Carseat Crazy aisraeltax's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Parent Car Seat Article

    i agree with you of course. my almost 4 year old will hopefully make it until almost 5 (if his weight history continues). i was asked the other day "how i did it" (RF). its simple..i do my best to keep my kids safe, and comfortable...but safe is my no. 1 priority.
    Rachel, mom to 5 boys, 22, 16, 8, 5 and 1.
    5 and 8 year olds in Britax Frontiers; baby in Britax Chaperone.

  17. #15
    CPS Technician April's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Parent Car Seat Article

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaunam View Post
    What bothers me is that the article says it's safer to rf to age 4, but that it's "not reasonable" for most people so they don't even bother stressing erf'ing at all. Just "get a convertible if they hit 20 lbs before a year". Even if they stressed rf'ing to age TWO, it would have made a MUCH better article. But you come away from it that rf'ing is not reasonable so you might as well just flip them at a year. A scenera will get most kids to age 2. There's no reason they couldn't have mentioned that even if you can't/won't pay for a bigger rf'ing seat, you can still rf TO THE LIMITS which for a lot of kids is age 2-3 in even the smaller convertibles.

    A poorly written article, IMO.
    Quote Originally Posted by TechnoGranola View Post
    I agree Rachel. I think what bothers me is what others have mentioned, that they make it seem like you just have to make it to that bare minimum of a year when they have more strength and only buy a convertible if you're baby outgrows the infant seat before one. They SHOULD have said "RF is safer at ANY age, so best practic is to RF to the height and weight limits of your convertible car seat" and "when you're baby outgrows the infant seat, you need to buy a convertible to keep them rear-facing to the limits of that convertible seat".


    That was sort of my point. Maybe its not easy to find a seat to RF an average 4 year old. But IMO, it IS easy to find a seat to RF an average 2 year old and most 3 year olds. (Unless you have a kid like my DS1 who hit 40lbs before he turned 3, but that is not an "average" 2.5 year old).

    No one said you have to run out and buy an XTSL either. 6 months ago, we didn't have seats that RF'd above 40lbs, 18 months ago we didn't have seats that RF'd to 35lbs so yes, I do consider 35lbs to be an ERF seat. So in Canada seats that RF to 35lbs or higher are the True Fit (Zellers/TRU), the Scenera (everywhere), the 50lb AOEs - manufactured Dec. 23/08 and newer (Zellers, TRU, Walmart, the Bay), the CA (TRU), most recently the MR (TRU and Walmart), and very soon the XTSL. Granted, the XTSL is not widely available but the others are. Most parents buy their seats at Walmart, Toys R Us, Sears, or the Bay/Zellers.

    However, a 50th percentile 36 month old boy is 31.59lbs. A 50th percentile 36 month old girl is 30.57lbs. So, IMO, there are lots of seats that are "widely available" that an "average 3 year old" could rear face in. They could have easily said "It can be difficult to find a seat to accomodate an average 4 year old. However, most average sized kids can make it to age 3 rear facing in widely available convertible car seats."

    The focus was on using a convertible for kids who were over the weight or height limit of their infant seat prior to 1 year and 20lbs. There was no talk of keeping them rear facing beyond a year. Then that was followed up with saying that parents "don't like" taking road trips when they can't interact with their child, which is a downside to RF an older toddler. Well I bet Joel's parents "didn't like" having to visit him in the hospital either. Which would you prefer? The emphasis of convenience before safety is what really gets under my skin.
    April-CRST
    "Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother." ~Oprah Winfrey
    DD1-11 years: seatbelt
    DS1-10 years: seatbelt DD2-7.5 years: lightrider
    DS2-6.5 years: parkway DD3-2.5 years: RF RNXT

  18. #16
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    Re: Today's Parent Car Seat Article

    Quote Originally Posted by April View Post
    However, a 50th percentile 36 month old boy is 31.59lbs. A 50th percentile 36 month old girl is 30.57lbs. So, IMO, there are lots of seats that are "widely available" that an "average 3 year old" could rear face in. They could have easily said "It can be difficult to find a seat to accomodate an average 4 year old. However, most average sized kids can make it to age 3 rear facing in widely available convertible car seats."
    .....
    The emphasis of convenience before safety is what really gets under my skin.
    Very true. It does seem to cancel out all the work we do to discount teh myths about ERF

  19. #17
    Moderator - CPST Instructor
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    Re: Today's Parent Car Seat Article

    Quick comment because i only scanned the OP at this point...

    and many parents find road trips difficult when they can’t easily see or interact with their children. Not to mention that most kids don’t like it — who wants to stare at the back of the seat?
    Sorry, but focus on driving instead of interacting or looking back to the back seat. This always bothers me when parents mentioned it and now to see it in print in national mainstream magazine. Geez!
    Tam
    Certified Canadian CRS Technician-Instructor

    DD#1, Aug 1999
    DS, May 2001
    DD#2, Aug 2007

  20. #18
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Parent Car Seat Article

    Not to mention this one

    Not to mention that most kids don’t like it — who wants to stare at the back of the seat?
    is blatantly untrue-- many kids don't care either way, especially if you don't tell them they're "big enough to face forward now!" And some prefer rear-facing. My kids have a much better view rear-facing than forward-facing in our car.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

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  22. #19
    CPS Technician swtgi1982's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Parent Car Seat Article

    My DD at almost four as I have mentioned before loves ERFing and begged to be turned back RF when it was possible. She was RF until almost three and then turned back a few months later after her insisting on sitting RF like DS1.
    10.5yr old Topside Booster, 9yr old Topside, 6yr old Topside, 4yr old RXT RF, 2yr old RXT RF

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  23. #20
    CPS Technician canadiangie's Avatar
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    Re: Today's Parent Car Seat Article

    Maybe someone should email them a link to this thread.
    dd1 - 8y6m, hbb PWSGL
    dd2 - 7y3m, hbb PWSGL
    dd3 - 4y3m, ff advocate/frontier xt

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