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  1. #1
    CPS Technician skipspin's Avatar
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    Post Sarah Tilton/Dr. Laura Jana/Britax chat- May 15th, 2008

    Here is the long awaited chat transcript for the May 15th chat.
    Enjoy!

    2008-05-1510 55 25

    skipspin-> SpecialEvents- CEU Chat Session Welcome to our chat today! Our topic is Side Impact Protection and our guests are Dr. Laura Jana and Sarah Tilton. Questions about SIP and SIP related to Britax products will be taken first , then if we still have time we will take general Questions about Britax products. This chat will be moderated. That means that once that chat has begun all comments that are not from our guest speaker will be forwarded to a moderator for approval. We will approve some follow-up Questions to the topic being discussed at the time if we feel it is appropriate and timely. Please hold other Questions till the end of chat when we will ask for Questions time-permitting.

    CPSDarren - Hello, The CEU Chat Session on Side Impact Protection for Children will start shortly. Please double-click the "Special Events-CEU Chat Session" room on the right to join. If you are a technician /instructor and would like CEU credit, you must introduce yourself during the introductions and have your technician name and number in your profile at Car-Seat.Org

    skipspin -> Welcome to our chat today! Our topic is Side Impact Protection and our guests are Dr. Laura Jana and Sarah Tilton. Questions about SIP and SIP related to Britax products will be taken first, then if we still have time we will take general Questions about Brita products.
    This chat will be moderated. That means that all comments that are not from our guest speaker will be forwarded to a moderator for approval. We will approve some follow-up Questions to the topic being discussed at the time if we feel it is appropriate and timely. Please hold other Questions till the end of chat when we will ask for Questions time-permitting.

    CPSDarren -> If you are a CPS Tech/Instructor and want CEU credit for this session, please introduce yourself now. Don'tforgettoputyourfullnameand technician numberinyourprofileatCar-Seat.Org along with a valid email address. CEU confirmations will be emailed to that address within a week or two. If you do not yet have tech access, please see http //www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=26521. I will update a post in the Announcements forum as I mail them.

    skipspin -> Welcome to our chat today! Our topic is Side Impact Protection and our guests are Dr. Laura Jana and Sarah Tilton. Questions about SIP and SIP related to Britax products will be taken first, then if we still have time we will take general Questions about Britax products.

    CPSDarren -> If you are a technician /instructor and want CEU credit, please introduce yourself now before the session begins!

    skipspin -> Let me introduce our guests!
    Sarah Tilton is the Child Passenger Safety Advocate for Britax Child Safety, Inc. As an active CPS Technician Instructor (Technician since 2002 and Instructor since 2004), Sarah is the spokesperson for Britax within the advocacy community participating in child passenger safety activities at a local, state and national level. Sarah serves on the new product development, technical writing and marketing teams at Britax. In addition, she managed and developed the training curriculum for the Britax Consumer Services department and assisted with the development and implementation of the Britax ISO Quality Management System during her six years with the company. Sarah currently actively participates with Safe Kids Charlotte Mecklenburg coalition and is a member of the n C Child Passenger Safety Training Committee. In her spare time Sarah enjoys cross-stitch, cooking, billiards and visiting with her granddaughter whenever possible.

    Dr Laura Jana is a pediatrician and mother of 3 based in Omaha NE. Having spent several years as a CPST-I, she has continued her involvement in the field of CPS as a technician for ~ 8 years. Dr Jana is actively involved in health education and national parenting media, has authored two parenting books published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (Heading Home With Your Newborn From Birth to Reality and Food Fights Winning the nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed with Insight, Humor and a Bottle of Ketchup,) is a LLuminari expert and serves as the head of the Walt Disney Internet Group's Medical Advisory Board. Dr Jana also owns a 215-student educational child care center in Omaha (which explains her ownership of 2 buses and a commercial driver's license.) She is frequently interviewed by national parenting magazines, television and radio on a wide range of parenting/pediatric topics related to pediatric health, nutrition, behavior, education and injury prevention - including CPS. Dr. Jana also serves as a pediatric/public education consultant for several major juvenile product and consumer brand

    Sarah Tilton -> Thank you for the introduction and the invitation to participate in this event.

    DrLaura -> Great to be invited and looking forward to the discussion

    CPSDarren -> Please be sure to visit www.drlaurajana.com and www.britaxusa.com

    skipspin -> First, we have a few general Questions about SIP and testing. Both of you, please feel free to answer anytime!
    skipspin -> -Since there is no testing standard for side Impacts in North America, what are the crash test results being compared to in order to state that the seat offers Side Impact Protection or True Side Impact Protection?

    Sarah Tilton -> While there are no current side Impact standards for child restraints in the United States, there are several European standards/guidelines. These are International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical University of Berlin Method (TUB-SIPCRS) ADAC Fixed Door Method NPACS Side Impact Australian Standard AS/NZS Takata Sled-on-Sled Method These European standards/guidelines have performance requirements associated with them. Britax has incorporated key features or requirements of the European standards/guidelines and created a Britax Child Safety, Inc. (BCSI) Side Impact fixed door method. BCSI has incorporated the performance requirements into our test method.

    skipspin -> -Are there any special dummies used for side testing?

    Sarah Tilton -> Since there is no side Impact standard, there are no ATDs (dummies) especially for side Impact testing of child restraints. This is a challenge for a side Impact test as current dummies would require more biomechanics instrumentation. The Q3-S and Q6-S are being considered for the United States.

    skipspin -> specifically for Britax convertibles - why are they no longer allowed to be tethered rearfacing to the vehicle seat on which they are installed or even straight down?

    Sarah Tilton -> Rear-face tethering is no longer allowed on the seat in which they installed on or even straight down for the Swedish method because further evaluation and testing of this type of scenario identified that the optimum benefits of rear-face tethering was not achieved. Allowing rear-facing tethering to the vehicle seat they were installed would be allowed in the Australian method as this would not change the angle of the tether in relation to the child restraint and affect the forces applied to the child restraint. Normally this would happen in a minivan that the tether anchors are built into the vehicle seatback. Rear-facing tethering to the vehicle seat they were installed is not allowed in the Swedish method as this would direct the tether straight down or towards the back changing the angle of the tether in relation to the child restraint and affect the forces applied.

    artemis8-> what do Q3-S and Q6-S stand for?

    Sarah Tilton -> They are identifiers for a family of ATD (dummy family)

    skipspin-> -What main differences do we see between harnessed seats and boosters in side Impact crashes? Is there an age or size when we see that minimized?

    Sarah Tilton -> I will let Dr. Jana comment on this one.

    DrLaura-> While I'm not in a position to comment on the specific differences in side-Impact crash testing, I find that one of the real-life differences exists simply in the fact that backless boosters, which offer no head/side-Impact Protection , have become quite popular amongst those who are informed enough to keep their booster-seat age kids appropriately restrained. While the backless boosters certainly provide convenience (for carpooling, etc) and therefore make it more likely that they'll be used, they offer no head/side Impact Protection . In contrast, we know that seats with side Impact Protection significantly decrease the risk of serious injury (especially to the head and neck) and the use of harnessed seats inherently has a higher likelihood of coming with side Impact Protection.

    skipspin-> -In this study by CHOP found that SIP is improved when seat belted passengers are seated next to each other. “Seatbelt restrained children aged 4 to 15 who were riding in the rear row of passenger cars reduced their risk of injury by up to 58 percent in side-Impact crashes if they were riding with another seat-belted passenger in the rear row.” The data suggests that development of a restraint system that limits side-to-side motion would be effective in reducing injury during side-Impact crashes. Have your findings been consistent with that information and if so, does it extend to children in boosters and harnessed seats?

    Sarah Tilton -> n A Britax CRS that incorporates side Impact or True Side Impact Protection ! "(TSIP) will provide that Protection independently. It does not rely on the relationship of distance to another CRS. The Protection of the product will vary, as with any CRS if it is not installed correctly and /or the child is not secured in the CRS correctly. A Britax product with “TrueSideImpact Protection ! " will Distribute vehicle crash forces, Shield the child from vehicle intrusion, Contain the child’s head and torso and Minimize the child’s lateral head movement. Varying degrees of side Impact Protection available including some to all of the following features "Stiff structure and energy-absorbing foam lining to distribute crash forces" Sidewalls to shield the body from vehicle intrusion "Head support to minimize side-to-side head movement" Deep side wings for head and chest containment

    skipspin-> -Is there any danger to seat belted passengers seated next to harnessed seats? Does the shell of the seat provide Protection or cause harm to adjacent passengers?

    Sarah Tilton -> This is an area that I do not have any information regarding. I know that BCSI has thought of this and is investigating and testing in this area. Our current focus has been to provide True Side Impact Protection ! "to the occupants of our child restraints.

    skipspin-> Here is a question that you should both have some thoughts on :
    With the products with SIP Protection , the margin of difference between dummies in RF seats versus FF seats. . . there is a lot of discussion about placement of multiple children. What are your thoughts on this? For example I always place the most vulnerable occupant (new baby) in the center, with older child in a booster outboard. I have been told that actually the rearfacing new infant should be outboard and the booster riding child in the center instead. (least protected child in most protected position) I hesitate to do that if new baby is in a small carrier, and booster child is in one with SIPS. I would still put baby in the center.

    Sarah Tilton -> Britax offers a full line of products infant to BPB that incorporate True Side Impact Protection ! ". As a CPS Advocate, it would be great if we could have vehicles with many rows of seats so each child could be in the center position (and the driver), but that is not realistic. Use the center position when available AND a secure installation and proper use can be achieved. A secure installation in an outboard position would be preferred over a not so good installation in the center position. At this time, I don’t have information that would identify a specific seating position for a specific age in a specific type of CRS.

    DrLaura-> I have found that this really depends on a lot of factors – number of kids, type of vehicle, parents limitations/convenience preferences, etc all play a role

    CPSDarren-> To revisit the question about rearfacing tethers and SIP, there is a small comment about it from Kathleen Weber in the Safety Belt Safe technical encyclopedia http //www.carseat.org/Technical/tech_update.htm#toptetherRF. "Tethering a rear-facing convertible CR to the floor can reduce the risk of head and facial injuries in rear and side crashes by reducing head excursion. "

    Sarah Tilton -> I cannot comment on information that was provided in this article. Both the Swedish and Australian rear-face tethering methods reduce rebound – each in different directions, but overall reduction of rebound and assisting in providing a secure pre-crash installation. A secure pre-crash installation will reduce the amount of movement for both the child and the child restraint allowing the child to benefit from the energy absorbing features of the vehicle.

    collinsclan-> For Sarah Tilton –Back to your comment about RF tethering a Britax convertible (Wizard) to the vehicle seat it is installed in, would that include using the D-ring around the front leg of the seat to connect the tether so that it is straight down from the back of the restraint and not wrapped under the seat itself?

    Sarah Tilton -> SpecialEvents-CEU Chat Session If I understand correctly – the angle of the tether Swedish method should not be straight down or loop underneath the seat it is on – it should angle towards the front vehicle seat.

    skipspin-> -With recent studies showing the vast superiority in SIP in rear-facing child seats, what tactics or incentives would you recommend to A increase rear-facing practices by parents and caregivers B effectively disseminate rear-facing information and advantages to sources where parents are likely to seek safety information ie doctors, media, internet C encourage manufacturers to produce products able to keep older children in rear-facing seats D ensure CPS technicians and instructors fully understand and consistently promote rear-facing practices

    Dr. Jana-> A. I think in large part this is a matter of continued public/parent education, since I firmly believe that if we help parents understand the huge opportunity for injury prevention, they will do what's best. I often use the message "we would all be a whole lot safer if we could all ride around rear-facing in a 5-pt restraint in the middle of the backseat" with parents. I find that two of the biggest reasons for turning children face-forward are a)the misconception that the children are somehow deprived/miserable only looking backwards (which I point out to the parents is unfounded, since presumably the children have never known anything different and it's actually the parents projecting their own attitudes towards facing backwards on their perfectly content children) and b) their legs are touching the backseat. I find this is an easy concern to deal with by pointing out that this is not a reason to have to turn face-forward, and when given the choice- all parents I know will choose prevention of head/neck
    B. I obviously believe this is hugely important, as it makes up a significant part of what I do in the field of pediatrics/parenting and child passenger safety. I typically field interviews with the national parenting media on a weekly basis, as well as interacting at the local and national level with the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the good news is that I find pediatricians, the national media, and parents alike are actually very receptive to this important injury prevention message –especially when it is delivered in such a way that they realize it applies to them. I would like to think these methods of dissemination are effective. In terms of effectiveness of information dissemination, the reality is that in many cases I've found the manufacturers themselves to have great potential to disseminate information the most widely. In fact, it is our shared commitment to effective dissemination of CPS/injury prevention messages that is the reason for my current relationship (as a pediatric consultant)wi
    C. It is my impression that if we continue to educate parents so that the cultural norms regarding how long to keep children rear-facing continue to shift towards older ages, manufacturers will continue to see increasing demand for these seats. At the same time, I sincerely believe that the manufacturers of CPS products sincerely want to do whatever they can to prevent motor-vehicle related injury/death. My own assessment of this commitment has obviously led me to my current role with Britax. Throughout my 8-year involvement in the field of CPS, I had always had the impression (as a CPS technician in the field) that Britax was a company particularly committed to innovation-whether it was leading the way with higher weight limits for harnessed children, extended rear-facing height/weight limits, or looking for ways to increase side-Impact Protection .
    D. I would hope that CPS technicians and instructors follow-thru on all of the opportunities they are now given to remain current on best practices and innovations in the field. Here in Nebraska, we are fortunate to have a very strong NE Child Passenger Safety Board that coordinates an annual update that is invaluable. I also find that sources such as Safe Ride News (not to mention the site we are all currently chatting on) offer important opportunities to keep current both on the technical details, and also on the methods for best conveying the information to technicians, instructors, pediatricians, and parents alike

    skipspin-> –Do you see a difference in crash test results when comparing rf'ing seats that are tethered, vs. testing with a seat not tethered? If so, how big a difference is it?

    Sarah Tilton -> While a RFCRS must pass FMVSS 213 requirements without a tether, a CRS tethered rear-facing significantly reduces the amount of rebound providing optimum Protection to the child. Rebound is a rotation of the restraint towards the vehicle seatback resulting in head rotation and spinal compression for the child.

    skipspin-> -Since there is no testing standard for side Impacts in North America, what are the crash test results being compared to in order to state that the seat offers side Impact Protection or true side Impact Protection ? Would any seat with a deeper shell and EPS or EPP foam in the head area perform similarly? Are there other determining factors as to how much side Impact Protection a seat provides?

    Sarah Tilton -> Special Events-CEU Chat Session While there are no current side Impact standards for child restraints in the United States, there are several European standards/guidelines. These are International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical University of Berlin Method (TUB-SIPCRS) ADAC Fixed Door Method NPACS Side Impact Australian Standard AS/NZS Takata Sled-on-Sled Method These European standards/guidelines have performance requirements associated with them. Britax has incorporated key features or requirements of the European standards/guidelines and created a Britax Child Safety, Inc. (BCSI) Side Impact fixed door method. BCSI has incorporated the performance requirements into our test method.

    skaterbabscpst-> Many techs have expressed a concern about non-tethered RF seats in front of the glass in the 2nd row of trucks. Can you address this concern?

    snowbird25ca-> Speaking of spinal compression, have the forces exerted on the neck of the child when a rf'ing seat is tethered been studied? Specifically, is a newborn going to benefit as much from a rf'ing tether, or does it place more stress on their neck?

    DrLaura-> To be perfectly honest, I have a very tough time with child safety seats in the 2nd row of trucks in general. . . . . I consider this a very "tough choice" (and in a perfect world would recommend a minivan)

    skaterbabscpst -> What injury data would support the corned that children would rebound in to the glass?

    Sarah Tilton -> As an advocate I would also be concerned about the pick-up truck scenario, but legally there isn't a position-if you can get an appropriate install as we know RF tethering is not mandatory

    skipspin-> Dr. Jana, is this reservation about pickup trucks specific to those will smaller back seats (compact size), related to cargo in the bed being a hazard, or something else? (Just asking for opinion here, not necessarily facts)

    Sarah Tilton -> I am not aware of specific data that can be shared that would prove this out. Testing of a RF install without tether allows the CRS to roll up in to the vehicle seatback.

    tarynsmum-> Regarding RF seats in 2nd row of trucks would you say then that you would rather an older (2yearsold+) be forward facing rather than RFing without a tether? Which would be the better choice in that scenario?

    crunchierthanthou-> re rf tethering – what about the increased neck loads that we sometimes see cited as an argument against using a rf tether with a small infant?

    CPSDarren-> Just the physics of a child seat being less coupled to a vehicle plus the proximity of internal features (like the rear glass in a truck) would add risk. How much, I can't say as I haven't seen a relevant study. Without data, it's hard to compare that risk to those added by front-facing for older children.

    DrLaura-> It is opinion, and the comment was directed towards the majority of trucks with compact back seating. As for the 2 year old scenario –the problem is I'd really rather not have them sitting in the compact space of the 2nd row in general. . . . . . Definitely tough choice

    skipspin-> Thanks for that clarification! Here are a couple of related Questions that I will post together:
    What measurements are used in determining the degree of SIP?
    Would any seat with a deeper shell and EPS or EPP foam in the head area perform similarly? Are there other determining factors as to how much side Impact Protection a seat provides?

    Sarah Tilton -> In Britax products we believe Side Impact Protection products will
    a. Distribution of vehicle crash forces
    b. Shielding the child from vehicle intrusion True Side Impact Protection ! " also includes
    c. Containing the child’s head and torso
    d. Minimizing the child’s lateral head movement
    Sarah Tilton -> I cannot comment on any seat, but there are varying degrees of side Impact Protection available. Britax products include some to all of the following features a. Stiff structure and energy-absorbing foam lining to distribute crash forces b. Sidewalls to shield the body from vehicle intrusion c. Head support to minimize side-to-side head movement d. Deep side wings for head and chest containment
    As a manufacturer that tests our products as we instruct them to be used –as well as the RF tethering being proven in Sweden and Australia – it provides increased level of Protection to the child.

    CPSDarren-> There is a video on the Britax website here http //www.britaxusa.com/safety/default.aspx?vID=TSIP

    skipspin-> Guests , I'm going back up to the previously-skipped Questions for a moment.
    skipspin-> -Does using LATCH in booster mode (on combination seats that allow it, like the Frontier) improve SIP?

    Sarah Tilton -> The use of LATCH to position the Frontier in booster mode is a convenience feature. It will reduce/eliminate the movement of the BPB with a wiggle worm child and eliminates the steps of securing the lap-shoulder when the BPB is unoccupied.

    skipspin-> -Can you talk a bit about side curtain airbags and child restraints? Is there any data about how well (or not) SABs in vehicles protect children in5 point harnesses and /or in boosters?

    Sarah Tilton -> Side airbags in vehicles are primarily designed to protect the 5th percentile female which is about 105lbs. A child in a 5-point CRS that is properly installed should not come in contact with a side airbag.

    DrLaura-> It is my understanding that while side Impact airbags do not appear to pose a safety risk to out-of-position children, they do not offer any of the added side Impact Protection they are designed to impart to adults

    skipspin-> -In Britax side Impact testing, does the bench move forward before it is struck from the side?

    Sarah Tilton -> Britax side Impact test method is a fixed door method that is rotated on the sled the sled travels hitting the barrier. With the fixed door method, the door does not move but the force of the Impact will push the CRS and dummy into the door.

    Kecia-> Do you happen to know if the "fixed door method" what we see in the SI testing done by the OEAMTC?

    Sarah Tilton -> I don't know a lot about the other various methods –my Test Manager is unavailable this week – I would be happy to answer anything about it at a later date.

    skipspin-> Sarah, I have one more follow up from a previous question, then we will move on to the next set of Questions .

    crunchierthanthou-> re Britax's stance on attaching a rf tether to the same vehicle seat as which the CR is installed – I understand that it is no longer allowed for reasons related to the crash dynamics. What about situations where the is absolutely no other option(ie, newer vehicles where the anchorage systems of the front seats are completely enclosed, particularly those with electronic seat adjust mechanisms)? Is it better to not utilize the rf tether at all or to tether to the same vehicle seat?

    Sarah Tilton -> SpecialEvents-CEU Chat Session Please remember that rear-face tethering is an additional feature/option to rear-facing installations of Britax products. All seats must meet FMVSS 213 without a tether rear-facing. If tethering cannot be done as instructed in the user guide –I cannot recommend it be done in another way. Some vehicles and their design leave no option to tether Swedish method RF – Australian is always an option.

    skipspin-> -How does the Regent perform in side Impact testing? (Esp. compared to a seat like the Frontier or Blvd with SIP, or even a booster with SIP) Is there a difference with a tall child vs. a smaller tot?

    Sarah Tilton -> All Britax products provide a level of side Impact Protection . I can’t give you numerical values as to its performance. However, the Regent does have increased depth to the sidewalls that help protect from intrusion AND a Stiff structure and energy-absorbing foam lining to distribute crash forces. The features of the seat are designed to provide a level of Protection to the size range of child that it is specified for.

    Sarah Tilton -> Sorry-All Britax products provide a level of side Impact PROTECTION .

    skipspin-> SpecialEvents-CEU Chat Session And Dr Jana, what do you see as most important to protect older kids that could be harnessed, but are generally in boosters, such as those between 5-8? Is being able to site maturely in a booster key to it being a comparable choice?

    DrLaura-> I think all older kids are safer in 5-pt harnesses if they are fortunate enough to fall below the height and weight limitations. I definitely take into consideration maturity level if a parent is determined to move out of a harness before it is necessary Personally, my 8year old son and 11 year old daughter are both still in a5pt and have a lot of years to go before getting out of it!

    skipspin-> I'm going to ask Sarah the next Britax question, but feel free to comment on the previous question please!
    How tight does the install have to be when using LATCH for the Frontier in booster mode? Less than 1" of movement as in harnessed mode, or just secure?

    Sarah Tilton -> The use of LATCH to position the Frontier in booster mode is a convenience feature. The vehicle seatbelt system is restraining the child in the event of the Impact . While the 1 rule is not as important, I would recommend to pull the LATCH straps tight with reasonable effort and force to remove the slack in the webbing I would not fully extend the LATCH webbing, attach the anchors and not tighten the webbing at all.

    CPSDarren-> As a side note to the previous question –simply being in a properly used child restraint with a 5-point harness provides a reasonable degree of side Impact Protection . The harness is the primary method of keeping the child contained within the shell and not being ejected.

    Sarah Tilton -> Good point Darren-

    skipspin-> -Has the Frontier been tested in booster mode with the 5th percentile female dummy? What other dummies?

    Sarah Tilton -> I will have to verify this answer –I believe I know the answer, but want to be sure I provide accurate information.

    skipspin-> Are there any plans for taller boosters to accommodate the small adult female/large preteen crowd to increase their safety in vehicles without head restraints?

    Sarah Tilton -> The Frontier does not have a maximum weight capacity, just a minimum of 40lbs. , so a child/human body could be positioned in the Frontier as long as they physically fit the shell of the product. FMVSS 213 does not require a maximum weight capacity on boosters, just a height range. (S5. 5. 2(f)) Booster seats do not restrain the child or take a load in the event of a crash, the vehicle seatbelt system does.

    Skipspin-> Dr Jana, many of us here have been disappointed in the advice and recommendations of our pediatricians regarding child passenger safety. Advice such asHesonly9months, but he’s so long his legs are touching the seat and hesover20lbs, so go ahead and turn him forward-facing and Oh, he’s 40lb now, so go ahead and get a no-back booster for him-it’s what my 4year-old rides in. seem to be all too common. What can technicians or parent advocates do to help prevent suggestions like this from being given? Some have said that Drs should simply defer car safety Questions to those that are more qualified, like technicians. Others insist that Drs should be more educated in this area and at least mention minimums and best practice to parents. What is your opinion and what advice would you give us as technicians and parents?

    DrLaura-> Unfortunately, not all pediatricians are well-trained (or trained at all, in some instances) in CPS. As someone who is trying hard to bridge the gap between both professions, I would suggest taking the approach that the "her legs hit the seat" given by parents and pediatricians alike is understandable, but then point out why it is much less significant in actual crash testing, and certainly less important than protecting the head/neck. As for best approach to remedy the misinformation that is sometimes handed out by doctors, I would suggest that CPS professionals make themselves readily available to their local pediatricians, and offer to provide them with up-to-date info as well. Another good option is to look to the American Academy of Pediatrics for cps resources, since they have some good info available and parents/pediatricians often want to hear from a pediatric source (even when a cps professional might be better informed)

    CPSDarren-> I would like to commend Dr. Jana for some of her recent advocacy work, too-an article can be found here and is very interesting! http //abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=4183275

    skipspin-> Dr Laura Thanks! In regards to the Frontier-I've heard some people already finding the reverse (long belt path) belt path is too long for their seatbelts, are there any installation tips that may make it work?

    Sarah Tilton -> If the vehicle seat has a recline mode to it, reclining it may assist in getting the vehicle seat to buckle. The vehicle seat would need to be put back in the normal seating position before transporting a child. At that point if lap-shoulder long or short belt path, short lap belt or short LATCH path does not provide a secure installation the CRS maybe be incompatible with the vehicle as we know all CRSs will not fit in all vehicles.

    CPSDarren-> n Now I will plug myself – I have some tips and a review of the Frontier here -) http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=45611

    Sarah Tilton -> Thank you Darren!

    CPSDarren-> One of the best tips for long belt path is to pull the shoulder belt all the way out and have a second person hold it so it doesn’t' retract at all while you install it with the Frontier compressed in to the vehicle seat.

    skipspin-> I've noticed that the Frontier has a 2yr minimum age. Are plans in the works to add this requirement to the Regent, or even the Monarch, which really should have a 4yr minimum? On the same subject - Are you at all concerned that your product selector lists the Monarch as an acceptable seat for a 30lb 12 month old?

    Sarah Tilton -> The Frontier was released with the 25lbs. and 2-year minimum with great support from key advocates that Britax works with supporting BEST PRACTICE. We do not want to promote forward facing too early ie. Coming out of an infant carrier into the Frontier. We want the children to go from an infant carrier to a convertible remaining rear-facing until 35lbs. and then forward-facing in to a Frontier. If the advocate community supports this type of change moving forward on the Regent, I will pose that here at Britax. The Monarch is being phased out in the coming months, so honestly I don’t for see any change there.

    collinsclan-> What is the advantage of the long belt path over the short belt path for installations? I know recommendations were recently changed so that you use the long with under 40lbs. children in the Regent. Did anyone look into the Husky for this same recommendation?

    Sarah Tilton -> Long vs. short lap-shoulder is simply for compatibility with various types of buckle stalks and how they line up with the belt path of the Frontier.

    skipspin-> I believe that Dr Laura Jana has to leave in a few minutes. At this time I'm going to give her the opportunity to leave any parting comments or thoughts she may have for us!

    Sarah Tilton -> There is no weight associated with the long or short lap-shoulder on the Frontier. While it also has an 80lb. max weight, it is a completely different product than the Regent or Husky.

    skipspin-> If anyone has any questions for Dr Jana this is the time to ask!

    monzogary-> Are there plans then to release another model booster only seat if both the Parkway and the Monarch will both no longer be available?

    Sarah Tilton -> Not at this time – best practice is heavily influencing our new models - 5-point harness as long as possible - the Frontier.

    DrLaura-> It has been my pleasure to join in the chat - great questions !

    joolsplus3-> Thanks for stopping by and offering up your expertise!

    skipspin-> Thank you so much Dr. Jana!

    CPSDarren-> Thank you very much, Dr. Jana. Again, please be sure to visit her website at http://www.drlaurajana.com/!

    hipmaman-> I would like to ask why Britax is discontinuing the Monarch and Parkway (just picking up on one of her response). There are children that only need dedicated booster seat instead of a combination seat

    Sarah Tilton -> Honestly – I guess it was a marketing decision. Again, best practice is heavily influencing our product line moving forward.

    scatterbunny-> I totally agree. TALL dedicated boosters are a much-needed product. I will be sad to see Britax move away from dedicated boosters entirely.

    Sarah Tilton -> I understand as an advocate about that group of children and boosters.

    skaterbabscpst-> I know several children who have outgrown the Regent literally 2years or more before passing the 5 Step Test

    QuassEE-> Considering that many families have more than one child, and would eventually be passing a harnessed seat down to another child while moving to a dedicated booster for an older child, do you think that it is financially feasible for families to be purchasing the Frontier for *all* children, rather than purchasing a Frontier for younger children who still need to be harnessed and then moving older children into a less expensive dedicated booster?

    Sarah Tilton -> I really can't recommend what steps a parent would choose to secure their child in a vehicle – as an advocate I would say stay 5-point as long as possible. Our market research indicates on average baby #2 comes along and is ready for a convertible about the time baby #2 is forward facing in a convertible and is 2 years of age +. This would allow baby #1 to move into a Frontier and baby #2 to get the convertible that older sibling started with.

    Sarah Tilton -> Concer ns and desires that are learned here today will certainly be shared with others internally of Britax.

    scatterbunny-> Exactly. My own child is already only a HAIR away from being too tall for the Frontier harness, at not even 7 years old; she's obviously using the Regent's top slots at this point, with not a huge amount of growing room, yet she's just 4'3 and will need a tall BPB for many years to come. I would hate to have to discount the Britax brand entirely when booster shopping.

    Kecia-> What we really want is a dedicated BPB with rigid latch at attachments

    crunchierthanthou-> if best practice and harnessing as long as possible were the goals, the Frontier really should have had harness slots two inches higher.

    Sarah Tilton -> Keep in mind that anthropometric data is relative to CRS design –so those children who are higher in percentile for their height or weight may outgrow a seat quicker than others.

    skipspin-> Please be patient with the live questions . I'm get a lot of similar questions . So, if you're question is rejected it's probably because there was another question that was addressing the same topic

    QuassEE-> Elimination of a dedicated booster really seems to fail that 10 – 12 year old group.

    Sarah Tilton -> I do understand where you are coming from as a tech and instructor –there is a business side of it as well. I will certainly share these concerns internally.

    skipspin-> Are other Frontier patterns planned? Are alternate fabrics going to be available (100% cotton, for example) as far as you are currently aware?

    Sarah Tilton -> I am not aware of future plans for fabrics and patterns. I will share your request for 100% cotton on the Frontier.

    hipmaman-> Speaking of marketing decision, it might be something to reconsider. . . Not all families can afford Britax products but we have been happy and successful in recommending the Parkway (in Canada) as it has the highest seat back, seatbelt guide slots and TSIP, over other competing dedicated booster. It's different here since we don't have the Regent for those that no longer fit in the Frontier or worse yet, those that cannot afford the Frontier but cannot fit into any other restraints and having to be in seatbelt only

    skipspin-> I would also add that with states enacting booster laws, there are going to be many kids being put into boosters that have previously just been in the vehicle seatbelt. This group will be looking for a dedicated booster

    skipspin-> Why does the Regent require a recline bar, but not the Frontier? What is the official purpose of the recline bar on the Regent? Is it to make the seat tighter against the back of the vehicle's seat or is it to reduce head excursion?

    Sarah Tilton -> The Regent and the Frontier are two completely different products. While the Frontier does not have a recline bar, it does have a recline block that stays permanently attached at does have a required position when used in harness mode and the a different position for booster mode. The recline bar on the Regent assists in positioning the CRS in the vehicle seat.

    skipspin-> Are there any plans to create a shorter depth recline bar to fit in sedans and other vehicles that lack leg room when it's installed?

    Sarah Tilton -> Not at this time. As you know, the Regent is a large seat it requires space. If the physical size of the vehicle and the positioning of the front vehicle seats do not allow appropriate leg room for the child the Regent may not be a good fit in that vehicle. Some people sacrifice a little of the comfort of the front passenger seat to accommodate the child in a Regent.

    skipspin-> I have a lot of questions relating to the Regent/recline bar issue and the recent advisory – so if you want to give a more general answer to these, Sarah, that would be fine!
    skipspin-> Is my child in any danger in her pre-June 2007 Regent for remaining with Long Belt Path installation because it fits the Camry much snugger than switching to the short belt path where it's fairly loose?

    Sarah Tilton -> The Regent child seat can be used as instructed in the user’s guide you received attached to the restraint at the time of purchase. During the prescribed certification testing of the Regent youth child seat it met or exceeded the federal government standards (FMVSS 213) at the time it was launched in November2005. The advisory to our Regent child seat consumers is to advise you that the product can provide enhanced performance by following the direction of the advisory.

    CPSDarren-> Just a side note, everything is a trade off. We all want higher top harness slots and higher weight limits, but we also want to have leg room and fit 3-across and not have the seat weigh over 25 pounds so it can be carried onto an airplane. It's impossible to meet every criteria.

    Sarah Tilton -> I know there was a delay with current Regent covers as accessory sales –please check with Consumer Services for current availability. New patterns will only be released as new patterns are released on the entire seat.

    amyg530-> how far into the regent is the recline bar supposed to be in? the holes on my seat barely allow it to fit.

    Sarah Tilton -> The recline bar will insert a small amount –in some cases a small tap from a rubber mallet will help position it in the shell.

    \lodonal65-> How much enhanced performance for the Regent is the advisory? Is it a lot in regards to head excursion or not that much to matter?

    Sarah Tilton -> I can't provide you specific numbers on that – while both methods comply with 213-we felt it significant enough to share the advisory kit with the consumers.

    skipspin-> In order to make use of the time we have left we are going to switch gears and ask a few questions about Britax convertible seats, then hopefully have a few minutes for Canadian related questions at the end

    skipspin-> Ms. Tilton, several times a month, we have parents post on this site asking about using a convertible seat from birth (they don't want or need an infant carrier's expense or "convenience.") Britax convertible and infant seat instructions require a rearfacing child's shoulders to be at or above the bottom slots. Safe Ride News has said that it's OK to use a rearfacing seat even before a newborn's shoulders reach the bottom slots (http://www.saferidenews.com/articles. . . R_articles. htm), and in a Q & A with Tom Baloga ~ 7 years ago, I asked him about whether Britax intended to produce convertible seats with lower bottom slots to better fit a newborn, and he stated that Britax convertibles fit a newborn fine. Can you speak to these discrepancies, and if it really is important that an infant's shoulders be at or above the bottom most harness slots, does Britax intend to make a convertible seat with low enough slots to justify the 5lb minimum weight limit? In the meantime should we continue to steer parents away from Britax products if they want to use a convertible seat from birth?

    Sarah Tilton -> I cannot comment on a verbal conversation made with Mr. Bologa. Our manuals have reference to the harness is to be at or below the shoulder for rear-facing. Each 5lb. child will not be the same standing height or seat to shoulder height potentially allowing some to fit and some not to fit. Recent clarification has been incorporated in to all of the Britax convertible user guides. I would suggest you visit our website to view a user guide. This recent clarification clearly indicates this is a requirement to appropriately fit in the CRS. Following is some text direct from this clarification If the child cannot be snugly secured within these requirements because the child is too small, selection of a different child seat (such as an infant carrier) may be required. This information is in the Important Harness Adjustment section under Safety Information depending on the manual I believe it starts around page 6 or 7. On the current design the base houses the recline mechanism, so to remove it from current products is not likely. I am not aware of plans for new products to include that feature, but I can certainly share the thought with the design team.

    skipspin-> Is there any plan to release a higher-weight (RF) convertible seat, such as the Britax Multi-Tech or Two-Way (as in Scandinavia) that rear-face to 55lbs? Or anything over the current 35lb RF cap? If so – what current seats have been tested beyond 35lbs, and have any been tested with the 6-year-old dummy (without regard for height?)

    Sarah Tilton -> I do not know of any future plans or product that will increase the rear-facing weight capacity of our convertibles. While European seats offer extended weight limits, they also are designed much differently pushing the CRS more towards the front of the vehicle to make room for the child’s legs and requires a foot prop as the CRS then has more overhang off the front edge of the vehicle seat. This all increases the amount of space required for the CRS and we already know that our 65lb. capacity convertibles struggle to fit in smaller vehicles rear-facing.

    skipspin-> Since height is an extremely variable factor, why were the RF height limits changed? In reference to the height limit A) are they set in stone to be followed with NO exceptions and B) if so, why? Do you have data backing this up? Asked because of the difference in individual children who may be the same overall height (torso length, leg length, different fit in different vehicles, etc).

    Jeanum-> Could you clarify the RF and FF height limit for the Blvd. for us. This is a question that we see from time to time on the forum. Is the Blvd. outgrown by height RF when the child no longer has 1" of shell above the top of the head, or 1" of the Blvd's headrest above the top of the head? And is the Blvd. outgrown FF when the child's ears are even with the top of the shell, or even with the top of the Blvd's headrest?

    Sarah Tilton -> IS this a Canadian question? The heights that are required by the standard are standing heights, but as we know, children do not stand in a CRS. So, through statistical data of children’s sizes, we look at the seat to shoulder height of a 50% child in comparison to the harness slot height so fa seat that will determine what the height ranges are. All convertible manuals have been updated in the last few months to clearly identify the fit requirements I cannot recommend or suggest you use any product other than instructed in the user guide and how the seat was tested and features are designed. Following is some text direct from a current user guide If the child cannot be secured within these requirements because the child exceeds height or weight requirements, review the forward-facing guidelines on page7. –If the child cannot be snugly secured within these requirements because the child is too small, selection of a different child seat (such as an infant carrier) may be required. This information is in

    Sarah Tilton -> A child can outgrown a RF Britax convertible when they max out the weight capacity OR the top of head is less than 1" from the top of the seat shell.

    Sarah Tilton -> A child can outgrow a Britax convertible FF when any of the following apply exceeds the weight capacity OR the tops of the ears are above the seat shell OR once in the top slot with all the other factors being okay – the slot falls below the shoulder.

    skipspin-> The wording on the Marathon (and other seats?) states "Use only in a rearfacing position when using it with an infant less than 20/22lbs" This wording is confusing, as it leads some parents to believe that the rearfacing position is only for those under the limits. Also, why did the limit change? On my 02/04 Marathon, it says 22, and my 04/06, it says 20. Why the step back, especially when most other manufacturers are instituting limits that "force" parents to keep their children rear-facing longer (ie. Recaro, minimum FF 30lbs, Dorel, minimum FF at34inches)?

    Sarah Tilton -> Section S5.5.2(k)(2) of FMVSS 213dictates this statement verbiage Use only in a rear-facing position when using it with an infant weighing less than XX. The manufacturer is to insert a weight that is not less than 20lbs. This is a tough area law vs. best practice vs. marketing. Many state statues allow forward facing at 20lbs. and 1-year of age, if law allows people will do it even though it may not be best practice. As you see new products released by Britax, you will see more best practice incorporated in to our product line. Why did we go from 22 to 20lbs.? I don’t know why, other than possibly to put it in line with the baseline recommendation from the AAP of 20lbs. While this statement is a requirement, the 20lbs. is a minimum.

    Sarah Tilton -> Outgrowing. . . . check our current manuals on-line around page 6 or 7 – should help clarify.

    skipspin-> Is there any difference in performance in the Britax convertible seats between the seats installed with a seatbelt, One LATCH strap, or the two LATCH straps attached to a bar (like MA and BLVD)? The method that LATCH is attached to our convertibles is simply a different feature. Some users prefer the LATCH bar on the Marathon and Boulevard and some prefer the flexible attachment like the Roundabout, Diplomat and Decathlon.

    CPSDarren-> Our time for this session is nearing the end – one or maybe two more questions if we have time!

    skipspin-> Is Britax exploring the option of bringing back rigid LATCH to any of their seats?

    Sarah Tilton -> -not at this time – it is difficult to incorporate into convertibles and carries a significant cost.

    skipspin-> I have a few minutes for a few Canadian-related questions and I'm going to allow live ones first . So, if you have a Canadian question you can ask it now.

    hipmaman-> Can you comment on the status of certification and /or shipping date for the new Canadian seats (Diplomat, Frontier and Boulevard)? Any thoughts on an infant seat for Canada?

    Sarah Tilton -> ALL of the printed material for all 3 seats for Canada are being worked on as we speak. As it stands today without any unforeseen delays I would expect them in the market in 60-90days.

    snowbird25ca-> Are there plans to increase the rf'ing weight limits on the Britax convertible seats? We just received confirmation yesterday of a seat arriving with a 35lb rf'ing weight limit and incorporating the 1" of headroom for when it is outgrown rf'ing. It would be great to see this on Britax convertibles as well

    Sarah Tilton -> This concern is being looked at in conjunction with the concern of the maximum height limitation rear-facing.

    snowbird25ca-> What would you tell a parent with a 33" tall 18lb 11 month old

    Sarah Tilton -> This concern is being looked at currently. Our interpretation of Section 6(d)(ii) in the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213 leads us to indicate a minimum and maximum height range for each rear-facing and forward-facing mode of use. Section 6(d)(ii) reads as follows "the weight and height range of the infants and the children for whom the system is designed as recommended by the manufacturer, if the system is designed to be used as a rearward-facing system for infants and as a forward-facing system for children" We have asked for clarification from Transport Canada to determine if CMVSS 213 requirements will permit height and weight fitment depictions consistent with U.S. convertibles. If change is permissible, if and when change could happen would have to be reviewed and determined internally.

    hipmaman-> What is the status of trying to eliminate the 32" for rf height limit in manual?

    Sarah Tilton -> This concern is being looked at currently. Our interpretation of Section6(d)(ii) in the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213 leads us to indicate a minimum and maximum height range for each rear-facing and forward-facing mode of use. Section 6(d)(ii) reads as follows "the weight and height range of the infants and the children for whom the system is designed as recommended by the manufacturer, if the system is designed to be used as a rearward-facing system for infants and as a forward-facing system for children" We have asked for clarification from Transport Canada to determine if CMVSS 213 requirements will permit height and weight fitment depictions consistent with U.S. convertibles. If change is permissible, if and when change could happen would have to be reviewed and determined internally.

    QuassEE-> Will Britax be advocating for an increase in FF weight limits to 80lbs, with Transport Canada? This will ensure that the Canadian population can benefit from the full tested harnessed weight of the Frontier.

    Sarah Tilton -> Britax certainly has communication with TC, we will have to see what happens there. As of right now based on the regulations in Canada the Frontier will be a 65lb. max harness.

    Sarah Tilton -> We have asked for clarification from Transport Canada to determine if CMVSS 213 requirements will permit height and weight fitment depictions consistent with U.S. convertibles. If change is permissible, if and when change could happen would have to be reviewed and determined internally.

    snowbird25ca-> Is it possible that the 32" limit could be increased to a more reasonable 36 or 38". Combined with the 1" from top of shell rule, it would satisfy the numerical limit, as well as ensure children still properly fit the seat

    QuassEE-> Note CMVSS does not currently read that the height limit need be numerical.

    Sarah Tilton -> Again, we have had our interpretation and have asked TC for clarification. We will respond as needed and able when we receive that clarification.

    hipmaman-> This is a superficial question, but we have received numerous disappointments from parents wanting more then just the 'boring'covers for the new Canadian seats. Pls forward that to whomever decided on what covers would be available here

    Sarah Tilton -> I will certainly share your requests and concerns – I can't guarantee "they" will listen though.
    Sarah Tilton -> Please note that retailers who carry our products have a huge influence in what patterns they will purchase from us to put in storefront.

    skipspin-> Do they test their seats without chest clips? Since it’s only a precrash positioned why is it required? If I have can get my sons straps tight and in the correct position without it. Besides the fact that the manual says you have to use it?

    Sarah Tilton -> I am not aware of any testing that we do without chest clips. We do see it as a necessity to assist with pre-positioning the harness system.

    skipspin-> I'd like to note that Dave from SKJP mentioned that retailers have the most say in patterns. So, it follows that we should be pestering the largest retailers with requests for certain covers/patterns!

    hipmaman-> Btw, in your communication with TC, is there any on advocating rf tethering? It is a huge misunderstand among Canadian techs, instructors and many even discouraged

    Sarah Tilton -> We have communicated with TC about RF tethering-it is considered acceptable IF it is attached to an anchor location approved by the vehicle manufacturer.

    QuassEE-> Final Canadian question Will the long belt path be recommended as an alternative to the short belt path, in the Canadian Frontier manual?

    Sarah Tilton -> YES – The Canadian Frontier manual will instruct identical use other than that mandatory by the standard such as 65lb. max harness capacity – not 80.

    skipspin-> To your knowledge, would that include using a designated TA from the seat in front of the carseat in question?

    Sarah Tilton -> To the best of my knowledge – so I would assume 3rd row with the anchor built in the 2nd row seat would be acceptable.

    skipspin-> Can you please post the instruction manual pdf file for the Britax Expressway ISOFIX back onto the website? The link is broken for me!

    Sarah Tilton -> It is there when on the homepage select Consumer Services then user guides then scroll to the bottom past all of the current products and select User Guides for Retired Products that will then give you a list of the choices and the Expressway ISOFIX is there.

    skipspin-> Why did they remove the videos from their website?

    Sarah Tilton -> I checked this this morning – The videos have not been removed from the website. The link from home page has been removed. Select Safety Center from the top row, you will then see Installation Videos as the last item on the drop down list
    .
    crunchierthanthou-> Is there an age or size when use of the infant insert should be discontinued in the boulevard or decathlon?

    Sarah Tilton -> No – there is not a specific numerical value. It should be removed when a snug fit can be achieved without it.

    pastrygirl-> The wording in the Companion manual has changed since I bought mine in 2006, and it sounds like the head support is not explicitly required. Is there significant Impact to not using it?

    Sarah Tilton -> The head pad in the Companion plays a key role in the Side Impact Protection to the child. There is a statement under warnings I believe that say we strongly recommend it does not be removed. If it is removed, the user is reducing the SIP protection to the child.

    crunchierthanthou-> Were there any major design changes to the convertibles that now have a 35lb rf limit? Are there any more changes planned?

    Sarah Tilton -> I can't share information about what might be coming until it gets here. There have been changes in conjunction with the RF increase that you visually wouldn't see.

    hipmaman-> Is the US and Canadian seats identical except for weight limit differences?

    Sarah Tilton -> US vs. Canada – this is another area that some small changes are needed as the test standards are slightly different than here in the US.

    CPSDarren-> Technicians who need CEU credit, you will receive 1 or 2 credits depending on how long you were present. Confirmations will be emailed to the address you have on file at www.car-seat.org forums. Please make sure your technician name and number are listed in your profile or you will not receive a confirmation!

    skipspin-> Thanks, Sarah, for being our guest today!
    skipspin-> We are going to wrap up the chat at this time.

    CPSDarren-> It may take a couple weeks for confirmations to be sent, please be patient! Thank you very much Sarah Tilton for joining us. Be sure to visit www.britaxusa.com for more information!

    Sarah Tilton -> Thank you again for the invitation.

    skipspin-> I realize that there were some Questions that were not addressed. We hope to have Sarah back in the future and maybe we can finish them up!

    Sarah Tilton -> Thank you. If you have that question that just can't wait. . . . . . Darren can contact me as necessary.


    9 yr old in a pink zebra NBB and 5-stepping
    6 yr DS1 old in a Harmony
    4 yr old DS2 in a Nautilus and Radian
    18 mo DS3 rfing in a MyRide65

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