WTH! I can't believe my eyes

keri1292

Well-known member
How ironic is it that his twitter is murphydoggydog and we have a fabulous tech muphydog77 here. Our murphydog should've wrote this article. :thumbsdown:

I wonder what this guy plans on doing when his car breaks down and he needs to put the seat in a cab? Or when his kid goes on his first playdate? Gah. :(
 
ADS

babyherder

Well-known member
Yikes! I'm not even a parent but I make medical decisions (small ones but still, am I going to call the doc every time a kid gets a scrape?) and install car seats for kids in my care! I'm not a medical expert or a car seat expert but I can learn to manage both well enough for day to day functioning!
 

Maedze

New member
Did anyone have the guts to contact the author? Hopefully she would respond positively to counter-information from CPSTs/CRSTs who are operating under the actual guidelines they are supposed to use.
 
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Evolily

New member
Wow. Um, yeah, wow. I would definitely forward that article to SK Canada.

ETA- according to this tech, C could have FF'd at 6 months...
 
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selinajean

New member
Yes, I take my child to the doctor when needed. I then take the doctor's advice, do my own research and care for my child myself. I do not bring the doctor home and expect her to care for my child on an ongoing basis. That is my job.

The info from the "tech" is :thumbsdown:. I've invited the author to come to this thread. I think that he has been mislead. He deserves to know that his car seat expert is leading him down the wrong path in some aspects and he deserves the correct info to present to his reading audience.
 

mommycat

Well-known member
The info from the "tech" is :thumbsdown:. I've invited the author to come to this thread. I think that he has been mislead. He deserves to know that his car seat expert is leading him down the wrong path in some aspects and he deserves the correct info to present to his reading audience.
Good idea. :thumbsup:
 

selinajean

New member


When I saw the name Jan, I thought it would be a female author too. Now that I know that the author is male, I unfortunately am less shocked by the fact that he has never installed a car seat. I know that it is a stereotype, but I feel that this is one of the things that the mom takes care of in most families.....at least where I live.
I am now curious if Jan is married. If so, is his wife in the same position of not knowing how to install a car seat on her own? Does she rely on her husband who then relies on a stranger? Or does she secretly go out and re-install the seats herself after he comes home from the clinic? ;)
 

sparkyd

Active member
I know that it is a stereotype, but I feel that this is one of the things that the mom takes care of in most families.....at least where I live.

Car seats are definitely a Mom job in my house (because I insist that it is - DH isn't as hyped up about the subject as I am), but I know lots of families where it is definitely a Dad job.

The info from the "tech" is :thumbsdown:. I've invited the author to come to this thread. I think that he has been mislead. He deserves to know that his car seat expert is leading him down the wrong path in some aspects and he deserves the correct info to present to his reading audience.

Did you provide him with links to other threads or info on rear-facing as well? Just wondering because if he does come to this thread specifically then maybe we should have a post in here spelling out the specific problems with the information in the article. Especially the part where the advice being given about rear-facing doesn't even comply with what is about to be the minimum by federal law (WALKING unassisted, not standing... very different).
 

selinajean

New member
Car seats are definitely a Mom job in my house (because I insist that it is - DH isn't as hyped up about the subject as I am), but I know lots of families where it is definitely a Dad job.

I know of a few families where the install is a Dad job, because the Mom says that she is not strong enough to install the car seat. BS! You gave birth, you can install a car seat. I think that for most people they just haven't been taught how to do it properly, so they get frustrated and pass the job to someone else.
 

Calleiah

Active member
Wow, thats jaw dropping. Totally passed responsibility for something super important! And the advice! :hitselfonhead:
Someone tackle this guy and duct tape his mouth shut!
 

selinajean

New member
Did you provide him with links to other threads or info on rear-facing as well? Just wondering because if he does come to this thread specifically then maybe we should have a post in here spelling out the specific problems with the information in the article. Especially the part where the advice being given about rear-facing doesn't even comply with what is about to be the minimum by federal law (WALKING unassisted, not standing... very different).

I didn't. Maybe one of the senior techs here could compile a post like that?
 

steph_s

New member
My friends who are not into car seat safety know that ERF is better and that the 1 year 20lb law here is stupid. You can look at a 1 year old 20lb child and visibly see how much safer rf is vs ff in the car when it comes to crashs. Now when to turn them gets a little fuzzy with them and that is when they come ask me. (Just had an old friend call me about her 3yo who has reached the limits of his 35lb rf seat, but she is concerned because he has a giant head).

They also know how to install their own car seats correctly getting them in good and snug and ya know what they didn't even contact a tech! They read the instruction manual that came with their seats!

Whoever wrote this obviously hasn't seen how a 3 in 1 seat positions the belt across a child improperly or perhaps they don't care??

I am just shocked at the bad information the entire way around! :thumbsdown:
 

mommycat

Well-known member
I'm not exactly a "senior" tech but here's my $0.02 about the details of the article:

http://thewhig.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2518903

--------
Everything you could ever want to know about car seats
Posted By JAN MURPHY
Posted 2 days ago in the Kingston Whig Standard
*snipped to include only sections of original*
*my comments italicized and in blue*


"if you've never installed a car seat, why would you when Kingston boasts one of the most helpful programs in the province, if not the country?"
YAY, helpful program. :thumbsup: Not so yay, not even trying to figure this out on your own before giving up. :thumbsdown:

"I have yet to install one myself. Nor do I have any intention to install one."
What about if you need to take it out and out it back in, or move it into a cab or friend's car? Carseats are not rocket science,a and you really only need to learn about *your* carseat, greatly reducing the amount of info needed. Once you see a proper install done, it should become much easier to duplicate. :thumbsdown:

"numerous car seat clinics that take place in Kingston every year."
Exciting to see a community having regular clinics! :thumbsup:

"He directed me the home of another volunteer, who installed that seat for us, too."
A CRS tech should not be "installing" the seat for a parent - they should be showing the parent how to do it and educating them on proper use. There are not enough techs to go around to install for everyone, and as you say, we are volunteers - we don't have all the time in the world to repeat install after install for one parent who isn't even trying to learn. :thumbsdown:

"I began to think about the first-time parents, or any parent or grandparent for that matter, who may not know about this amazing service. "
Very happy to see the word about our services being spread. Some parents really struggle and don't know where to turn.

"... Littlefield said. "I always recommend the 3-in-1 (car seat) right off the get-go for them because they don't have the child that often, and they only have to buy one seat. ..."
3in1s are NOT the only seat a parent or grandparent will ever have to buy. They do make very decent RF seats. They make decent FF harnessed seats, especially the new models since end of 2008 when the harness height and weight limits were increased. The make LOUSY boosters in most cases, fitting poorly and putting kids at risk because of it, having not so great belt guides, and not adjusting tall enough. Old 3in1s would often leave kids too tall for the harness but <40lbs and illegal for a booster, over 40lbs or too tall for the harness much too early and not mature enough for a booster, or parents would not notice that the top harness slot was NOT supposed to be used with the harness and unsafe! if they did so. So for many kids a new harnessed seat was needed, or if they did use it as a booster, they would still need another booster afterward. There are many other seat options out there which make more sense, especially as a booster. :thumbsdown:



"There are eight others scheduled to take place ... As many as 15 inspectors, all of whom are volunteers, are at the clinics. All are trained to install car seats."
Awesome awesome awesome to see such an active, accessible group! :thumbsup:

"They have a three-day training (course) from Transport Canada.," Littlefield says, adding that the training is updated yearly."
(Does TC run courses? I thought it was St. John's Ambulance who provided certification. And that recerts were required only once every 3 years - though of course it is possible their techs recert every year.)

"But don't bother bringing a used or second-hand car seat, because it won't be installed."
Really? Even if it came from a trusted source such as a family member? Because not ALL used seats are necessarily death traps! Otherwise, I guess it's a good message of only using seats that you know/trust the history of. :thumbsup:

"In the event of a car accident, even a very minor one, a car seat must be replaced."
Yes, good info for people to read. :thumbsup:

"Littlefield is so passionate about this cause he helped orchestrate a disposal program in which used car seats... [are] crushed and disposed of."
Great! :thumbsup:

"When do you turn a child around from rear-facing to forward facing?

His answer is simple.

"If they can't pull themselves up unassisted and stand up on their own, then they have to stay rear-facing," Littlefield said. "I recommend a 3-in-1 car seat. The new ones go up to 35 pounds rear-facing. So if kids develop at 28 pounds -- they can pull themselves up and stand up on their own -- then you can turn around and tether them forward. Then it converts to a booster seat." "
Again on the 3in1 - ugh! But yes, the new ones do go to 35lbs RF. Yay. But you want to keep the child RF as long as they still fit, not "when they develop". The new info from TC is going to call for kids to WALK unassisted, not just pull to a stand. And it appears to say that if the child happens to stand unassisted earlier, it's ok to flip them - my son was walking by 8 mo - he was NOT ready to FF!!! And the 3in1 converts to a *pretty lacking* booster seat. :thumbsdown: Way to go on including the mention on tethering the FF seat though (I missed that at first read through).

"He also says that as long as you follow the guidelines provided by the manufacturer, it is no safer or less safe to have a child rear-facing versus forward facing."
NOT true. RF is always safer - though you get diminishing returns as the child gets to 3 or 4yo. But stats show it is SAFER to RF at least up to 2yo and as old as 4yo. Yes, FF a child over 1yo is "safe". But RF is safeR. Also, htere really should have been something there to reinforce the bare min of 1yo and 22 lbs, despite it being implicit in the "follow the guidelines" statement. :thumbsdown:

"If you've got a car seat that says you can go 35 pounds rear-facing, with the harness and everything, and you choose to do that, it's fine," he said. "
YES. It's fine. It's *recommended*. The statement makes it sound like FF might be better but it's ok to stay RF. I know a lot of parents rush to FF and this just tries to validate RF, but it would be nice to see a slightly more definite statement *for* RF longer.


"The safest spot is the centre of the back seat. I guarantee that," he told me."
Yes. Well, actually, that's maybe. If you get a poor install in the center and a good install outboard, the center is not safest for your car/seat combo.

"He said failing that, the passenger side is a good choice ... taking your little one out on the sidewalk rather than in the traffic. "
Yes, that is a good recommendation re: loading safety. :thumbsup:

And for those of you out there who may be shirking your legal obligations and transporting your little ones without a car seat or booster seat, Johnny Law will come calling to the tune of $110 and two points.
Good reminder for the slackers out there. :thumbsup:

"If money is an issue, you'll be happy to know that all car seats in Canada are equal, at least when it comes to safety."
Good point. Some seats fit/last better than others etc but in terms of safety, as long as they fit the child properly and install well in the vehicle, they do all pass the same standards. :thumbsup:

""U. S.A. seats are illegal in Canada," Littlefield said"
Great reminder about not shopping across the border. :thumbsup:

Did anyone email Mr. Gary Littlefield with info or a link to the thread as well?
 
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selinajean

New member
I received a reply from Jan. I have to run to get my son from school but I will reply to him when I get back.

Editing! He doesn't want his email body posted. Here's the basis

-this is a column, not a news story.
-no one should be installing car seats on their own, especially a first time parent.
-specifically, what is incorrect or misleading?
 
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hipmaman

Moderator - CPST Instructor
Folks, I'm told the author has been invited to view this thread. Can't do much or say much now that I'm leaving work and on my way home. Will post more later.

Please stick to helpful facts and refer back to the original article as much as possible. Thanks.
 

selinajean

New member
This is my reply to Jan. I really hope that he will come over here to read.

Thanks for getting back to me Jan. Did you make it over to car-seat.org? I know that one tech has posted her specific replies to the article so far, both good and bad.

While I know that your column is not meant to be taken as the news, unfortunately a lot of people do not understand the difference. Because you are writing a column for a NEWSpaper, a lot of people will take it to be the news, and therefore complete and factual. That is why the concern rises with the misinformation. A lot of people tend to read something in the paper or online and just go with it. That isn't always a huge issue, but when we are talking about safety equipment it really is a big deal.

I think that the main point that you were trying to convey did come across very clearly. Your article made it clear that no parent should install their own car seat. This is one of the main things that many people have an issue with. Car seats are not rocket science. Any adult with full physical abilities should be able to read the car seat manual front to back and install their car seat in a proper and safe manner. They should also be able to properly seat and harness their child by following the instruction manual. Safety technicians are wonderful to have around when a bad car/safety seat combo comes up. They are there to answer questions and teach the parent how to install the seat properly. No technician should be installing the seat for the parent. That is not what they are there for. They are trained to assist and educate. There are not enough technicians out there to provide an installation service for everyone who would want it. Further, technicians are volunteers. They have lives outside of car seat inspections. Telling people that they should not be installing their own car seats spreads the resources that are available even thinner than they already are. Most importantly, leaving the parent without the knowledge of how to install the car seat does nothing. The parent is still in the dark and stuck should they need to move the seat at a later date.

I also want to point out something that seems to me like a huge contradiction in this column. Both Mr Littlefield and yourself are pointing out the fact that a used car seat is not safe as the history of the seat is not known. Do not trust a stranger with the safety of your child by putting your child in the stranger's old car seat. This is a great message.
Yet, people are expected to trust a stranger to install the car seat for them. No thank you. I install my son's seat myself, with my own two hands. I know how it works and therefore know how to check it each and ever time that we use it. I would never put my child's safety in the hands of a complete stranger.

I'm going to leave it at that and head back over to the forum to reply with more details there. I do hope that you will come over there too, at least to read as there were other specifics pointed out that I have not covered here. You can post without registering if you like.


I received a reply from Jan. I have to run to get my son from school but I will reply to him when I get back.
 

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