We LOVE Cool Kids! Keeping Kids Cool in Cars!

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Yes, summer is taking the next exit, but have you been searching for ways to keep your children cool in the carvent1 during the hot months?  In Louisiana, summer temps can roll right into December!  Gotta love the south, right?!?!  Here are a few turn by turn’s that may help to keep your kiddos cool in the vehicle:

  1. Select car seats with light colored fabric
  2. Park in the shade
  3. Use a windshield UV shade
  4. Cool vehicle before heading out
  5. Tint windows
  6. Don’t over dress your child
  7. Stay hydrated
  8. If selecting a new vehicle, pay attention to rear vents.  If you don’t have rear vents, pointing front vents to the ceiling may help rear passengers
  9. Peel and stick window shades (http://www.toysrus.com/buy/strollers/stroller-accessories/covers-shades/britax-ez-cling-sun-shade-s865000-12974077) or http://www.target.com/p/eddie-bauer-travel-safety-cling-sunshade/-/A-14660982?ref=tgt_adv_XSG10001&AFID=Google_PLA_df&LNM=%7C14660982&CPNG=Baby&kpid=14660982&LID=PA&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=14660982&gclid=CJOlhcDiiroCFWpk7AodOxcAUQ
  10. Super cool Frog Togg (http://www.froggtoggswarehouse.com/products/frogg-toggs-chilly-pad-cooling-towel?gclid=CLLTydHbiroCFeZcMgodM2QAYg)
  11. Car seat cooling pad (http://babyhalfoff.com/Cold-Seat-Cold-Seat)
  12. The Noggle (www.nogglenation.com)
  13. Car seat sunshade (http://www.diapers.com/p/mommys-helper-car-seat-sun-shade-27817?site=CA&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=cpc_D&utm_term=ON-020&utm_campaign=GooglePLA&CAWELAID=1403645453&utm_content=pla&ca_sku=ON-020&ca_gpa=pla&ca_kw={keyword})
  14. Infant carriers that allow the handle to be in the upright position: draping a receiving blanket over the shade and handle will help to block direct sunlight to the eyes for rear-facing children. Make sure blanket does not fall over child’s face and allow air circulation space.

UVThe tips listed above are suggestions and may not work for every family or vehicle. The links provided are only examples. Lexlee’s Kids is not promoting a particular brand, business or site.

If you are unsure about using different products/methods refer to your vehicle and car seat owner’s manual. If you have questions about keeping your kids cool in the vehicle post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225-372-3991.

Be sure to subscribe to our blog (www.lexleeskids.org), like us on FB (https://www.facebook.com/LexleesKids) and follow us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/lexleeskidsla)!

Co-Written by: Tori Wilson, 2013 Fall SLU Intern

 

Safe Summer Travels!

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Summer is here and it’s time to hit the road! Summer represents one of the highest travel periods in the U.S., and it can easily be identified as one of the most dangerous times of the year to travel. As you plan your summer trip, remember to add safety to your packing list.

 

• Vehicle safety checklist • Never leave children or pets in the car http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/Seasonal_Advisories/SummerDrivingTips2006/pages/page2.htm#vehicleSafetylist

• Make sure to use child safety seats • Pack an emergency roadside kit

http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/Seasonal_Advisories/SummerDrivingTips2006/pages/page3.htm#childSaftySeats

• Stay focused • Make frequent stops if traveling with children • Buckle up

http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/Seasonal_Advisories/SummerDrivingTips2006/pages/page4.htm#TipsStayingFocused

• Summer also represents the 100 deadliest days for teenage drivers

http://www.lexleeskids.org/teen-driver-safety/drive-to-safety

REMEMBER: Drive sober, or get pulled over! Drinking + Driving=DEATH!

Wishing you and yours safe summer travels! If you have questions, comments or concerns about passenger/travel safety, post here or call Lexlee’s Kids at 225-372-3991.

 

Do you Need a Reminder that your Baby is in the Vehicle?

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Is it crazy? Does it happen? Well, you may think it’s nuts, but it does happen! Children are forgotten in vehicles, even more so in the summer! It doesn’t mean they are bad parents…it means they are human! The mind is a machine and even YOU CAN FORGET! So instead of saying this is crazy and this could never happen to me, take a moment to read and say a prayer for the families it has happened to.  Never in a million years did they imagine experiencing such pain and sadness over losing a child.

http://www.lexleeskids.org/vehicular-heat-stroke/do-you-look-before-you-lock

http://www.lexleeskids.org/vehicular-heat-stroke/is-it-hard-to-forget-your-child-yes-can-it-happen-yes

Because it does happen Baby Reminder was created!

The Baby Reminder app reminds you not to forget your baby in the vehicle. You simply set the day and time intervals in which you are usually driving your children. Baby Reminder will automatically monitor and determine when you are driving and when not. An alert reminding you not  to forget your baby in the car will be sent shortly after you arrive at your destination.

Example: If you drive your child every weekday around 8AM and again around 4PM, you can set the app to monitor from 7AM-9AM and 3PM-5PM, Monday to Friday. Baby Reminder will monitor and send you an alert when you arrive at your destination.
Features: *Easy to use. *Add multiple events per day. *Easily edit or delete events. *Set monitoring to repeat on specific days and time intervals. *Also possible to start/end the monitoring manually by pressing the green/red balloon. However, it is recommended to set the times and days in advance. *Baby Reminder continues to monitor and will alert (according to user’s scheduled times and days) also when in background.
*GPS Required.

From what we have seen the app is great! You should not solely depend on the app, but it serves as a great back-up reminder. Better safe than sorry. The cutest little baby giggle sounds off a few minutes after you have stopped driving. ~Lexlee’s Kids

Tips to help you remember that you have precious cargo on board:

  • Never leave a child alone in or around a vehicle, not even for a moment!
  • Put something you will need on the floorboard in the back seat of your vehicle (phone, purse, briefcase).  Secure the items, so they do not become projectiles.
  • “Look before you Lock”, get in the habit of checking the back seat before leaving the vehicle.
  • Keep a photo of your child in the front of the vehicle.
  • Set alarm reminders on your phone, at your desk and have someone call you to check and see if you made it safely to drop your child off.
  • If you see a child left in a vehicle, get involved!  Call 911, if the child looks hot, sick or unconscious get them out quickly as possible.

If you have questions or comments about vehicle and passenger safety, post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225-372-3991! Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

Is the Solo a No Go? Review of Solo Cup Buckle Cover!

Solo Cup

So we tried the homemade seat belt buckle cover craft! Here is what we found:

1. It is not childproof! It is simply to prevent unintentional unbuckling of car seats by other passengers! Your kids could probably still unbuckle if they want to & try hard enough.

2. It’s a cheap, easy and disposable idea that creates a barrier, but still allows access to the buckle in case of an emergency.

3. You need to use small scissors to cut the bottom.

4. It’s easy to put the cup on incorrectly.

5. This is a parental decision. This is not a nationally approved method or idea. There may be unknown risks associated.  There may also be benefits associated with the project. Use your judgement and make an informed decision if this is an issue for your family.

6. Don’t cover your buckle with tape, it makes a sticky mess, may interfere with proper use of the seat belt in the future & prevent unbuckling if needed. Typically after a crash you should not remove a child from a car seat. This may help prevent further injury. You would remove the entire car seat with the child inside the seat until medical help arrives.

We enjoy sharing the latest and greatest with you in an effort to keep your kids safe! If you have any questions or concerns, please post here or contact us at 225-372-3991.

Correctly placed on the vehicle buckle latch plate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acting as a barrier, making unintentional unbuckling more difficult.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cup can easily be lifted to unbuckle if needed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Incorrectly placed on the vehicle buckle.

If incorrectly placed you can release the buckle like normal. Also still easy for children to unbuckle!

 

21 of 98 Vehicles Tested Passed Child Safety Seat Study!

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Article by: Jayne O’Donnell, USA TODAY

Vehicle back-seat designs can make it hard to install child-safety seats correctly — despite changes required a decade ago to make the process easy, according to a new report out 4/12/2012.

Just 21 of 98 vehicles tested met all of the requirements for ease of use, says the report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. Seven of the 2011 vehicles didn’t meet any requirements.

The attachment system, known as LATCH (for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children), was mandated a decade ago because inspections frequently found child-safety seats were installed incorrectly. A 2004 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found three out of four child seats and booster seats had “critical misuse” problems that could increase the risk of injury.

Cars, SUVs and pickups were tested based on whether the child-seat anchors were visible, easily accessible and usable without excessive force. For example, if more than 40 pounds of force was needed to secure the seat, the vehicle didn’t pass muster.

Parents may blame themselves, but often these days, “the problem lies with the vehicle, not the user,” said IIHS senior vice president of research and study co-author Anne McCartt.

The study found belt buckles or other seat hardware can get in the way of the child-seat connectors, or the anchors can be buried so far in the seat that they’re hard to reach. The researchers also found most parents fail to use the upper tether that is designed to secure the top part of the car seat in the event of a crash. These straps prevent front-facing child seats from moving forward too much in a crash, which can cause head or neck injuries.

In a statement, Chrysler noted that “there are many different sizes and shapes of child restraint systems on the market” that automakers have to consider. Ford said LATCH “ease of use … is highly dependent on the design of the child-restraint hardware that attaches to the anchor.”

Child-safety advocate Joseph Colella acknowledges it isn’t easy. After his 3-year-old niece died in a 1994 crash in a child seat that didn’t fit the car, Colella pushed to make child seats more compatible. His efforts led to the federal panel that recommended LATCH.

“Compatibility issues need to be taken seriously by manufacturers,” Colella says. “A 2012 vehicle needs to work with today’s car seat designs, but it must also be compatible with models developed over the next 20 years.”

Trade groups representing car- and child-seat makers have a joint working group to address such issues.

If you are interested in reading the full LATCH status report and ease of use document, please email crystal@lexleeskids.org.

Join hands with Lexlee’s Kids in caring for your kids’ safety.  If you have questions about child and/or car seat safety post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225-372-3991.

 

ALERT: Subaru Recall!

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Something designed to protect you could possibly hurt you? Now we need to add vehicle seatbelts to the list of recalls to worry about! This goes to show you how important it is to stay up to date with product recalls. And Lexlee’s Kids is here to keep you informed with the latest when it comes to your child’s safety.  Subaru is recalling more than 275,000 Forester SUVs because a rear seat belt may not hold a child safety seat in place securely.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the rear center belt does not meet federal safety standards. The agency says Forester owners may not be able to install child seats properly, increasing the risk of injury in a crash.

Federal safety regulators say the recall affects certain Foresters from the 2009 to 2012 model years. Dealers will notify owners and begin replacing the belts free of charge starting April 13, 2012. The hazard was discovered during testing of the Forester SUVs.

Just a note: this recall in no way, shape or form is a vaild reason for not properly restraining passengers when traveling in a vehicle! There are other options avaliable, rather than not buckling at all! Travel the road to safety: buckle up every trip, every time!

If you have questions, concerns or comments about passenger safety feel free to post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225-372-3991!

Somebody’s Ready for Seat Belt Safety!

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Time to leave the booster seat behind?  A child is ready to ride in a vehicle without a booster seat when the child sits all the way back against the seat and stays properly seated throughout the ride.  The knees should bend comfortably at the edge of the automobile seat and the seat belt lies across the upper thighs and across the shoulder and chest.  The back seat is the safest.         

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and other safety/health professionals recommend that children ride in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly, which may be from 8 years old-12 year old or 4 feet 9 inches tall.

Seat Belt Test:

  • Have your child sit in the back seat with their bottom and back against the vehicle’s seat back. Do the child’s knees bend at the seat’s edge? If yes, go on.  If no, the child should stay in the booster seat.
  • Buckle the seat belt. Does the lap belt stay low on the hips? If yes, go on.  If it rests on the soft part of the stomach, the child should stay in a booster seat.
  • Look at the shoulder belt.  Does it lay on the collarbone and shoulder? If yes, go on.  If it is on the face or neck, the child should remain in a booster seat.
  • Never put the shoulder belt under the child’s arm or behind the child’s back. Do not allow children to play with the shoulder portion of a seat belt.  Read our article about seat belt entanglement!
  • Can the child maintain the correct seating position with the shoulder belt on the shoulder and the lap belt low across the hips? If yes, the child has passed the Safety Belt Fit Test.  If no, the child should return to a booster seat and re-test in a month.

The Safety Belt Fit Test is a valuable tool to determine if your little one should be doing the booster seat boogie.  If your child gets an A+, be sure to keep them buckled and in the backseat until at least age 13.  Although your child may pass the test in your vehicle, you should test every vehicle your child rides in, as well as every child who rides in your vehicle.  Keep a booster seat handy and be a positive role model while in the vehicle.  Always buckle up and resist distractions while driving!

Did you know…All children 12 years old and younger should sit in the back seat?  Join hands with Lexlee’s Kids in caring for your kid’s safety. If you have questions or comments about car seats or child safety, post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225.372.3991.

Shopping for a New Car?

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Need to know more about Safety Ratings?  Interested in Crash Test Information?

 Check out these Helpful Internet Sites:

 Safety Options to Consider:

  •  Electronic Stability Control
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring
  • Side Curtain Air Bags
  • Rollover Airbags

If you are having your vehicle repaired after a crash, remember to inquire about seat belt replacement. Often times that detail is forgotten.  Join hands with Lexlee’s Kids in caring for your kid’s safety. If you have questions or comments about car seats or child safety, post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225.372.3991.

 

 

Ford is Blowing Up Safety with Inflatable Seat Belts!

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Ford is at it again!  The 2011 Explorer is offering inflatable seat belts for the outboard-rear-seat passengers as a new safety equipment option.  The technology does just as the name says—in a crash, a tubular airbag inflates from the seat belt across the occupant’s chest.  The inflatable seat belts spread the crash force over a wide area of the body, and deployment of the bag tightens the belt, reducing forward movement and reducing the potential for head injury. 

Technology is forever evolving, and we must ride the wave of change.  Change is not the problem, the problem is consistency and compatibility.  Once again we are adding more fog to the already cloudy task of properly installing child safety seats!  Hopefully child restraint manufacturers will complete the necessary testing to approve or deny the use of their products with inflatable seat belts, and the decision will need to be made clear to caregivers and professionals. 

In the child passenger safety world, professionals are asking lots of questions.  How does the deployment of the bag affect a child in a child safety seat installed with the belts?  How will the belts affect the quality of insatlling child safety seats?  Will child restraint manufacturers approve of this new technology when installing their product?

Consumer Reports asked Ford a series of questions and many of our concerns were addressed.  Consumer Reports stated: 

  • Ford has done extensive testing with the belts to confirm their potential to reduce crash forces and movement—reducing the potential for injury to the head and chest. The testing included child-sized dummies and small adult cadavers in a variety of positions that may be of concern, including simulated sleeping children, positions when the head is lying on the belts, and conditions where the belts were positioned under the arms.
  • The belts inflate across the chest using compressed gas stored in a small canister. Once a small charge breaks the seal of the canister, the gas deploys the airbag. This is a cold gas system. It actually feels cold or cool to the touch, not hot, as a pyrotechnically charged front airbag system would be.
  • The bag is designed to stay inflated for about 6 seconds, unlike a front-seat airbag which deflates immediately.  As a result, the inflated belt offers the potential to maintain its benefits during longer crash events, such as rollovers.
  • The inflatable belt is indeed thicker—two to three times the thickness of a traditional seat belt.  As child passenger safety technicians, this was one of our greatest concerns, because we know how difficult some child car seat features like lock-offs can be, even with normal seat belts. The lock-off on most child seats is designed to lock the lap belt from moving so that it holds the seat or infant seat base securely. The key to the Ford inflatable belt system is that it is not a continuous loop like most lap-and-shoulder belts.  Instead, there are separate lap and shoulder belts attached to a specially designed latch plate (the piece that pushes into the buckle).  The shoulder belt and the lap belt each have their own retractor system. This allows the lap belt to be locked from moving by pulling it out and switching the retractor beneath the cushion into ALR (automatic locking retractor) mode. This is similar to the switch many parents use today to lock the shoulder portion of most vehicle belts when installing child restraints.  The big potential advantage here is that the lockable retractor on the lap belt may eliminate the need for the lock-off feature on some seats, making the seats easier to install.  It also means that some child seat manufacturers may need to add or modify instructions that would guide parents to use the belts correctly or modify lock-off designs so that seats could be installed without their use.

With all that being said, some child-seat manufacturers prohibit the use of the inflatable belts with their child seats and others are considering doing so.  Some parents may opt not to purchase the inflatable belts based on a belief that they may prevent secure installation of their child safety seats. This could potentially eliminate a feature that may make kids safer when they are big enough to use the seat belts alone.  Decisions, decisons…what’s a parent to do???

Are you looking into purchasing a 2011 Ford Explorer?  How do you feel about the new infaltable seat belts? Join hands with Lexlee’s Kids in caring for your kid’s safety. If you have questions or comments about inflatable seat belts, car seats or child safety, post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225.372.3991.

Wrapped Up in Safety! Kids Entangled in Seat Belts?

seat belt

Many years ago wearing a seat belt was an after thought, if it was even a thought at all.  Although we still have a long way to go when it comes to safety and seat belt use, large numbers of drivers and passengers utilize the protection the seat belt offers.  Seat belts save lives; we hear it over and over again!  But now, seat belts are being labeled as something that may kill kids!?!  How is that possible???  Kids are very curious, and are like little sponges!  They often want to be just like Mommy and Daddy, so seeing Mommy and Daddy buckle up just once is all it takes.  While a seat belt may not seem like an exciting toy to a grown-up, kids will play with almost anything.

The majority of seat belts have a locking mechanism that is activated when the seat belt is pulled all the way out from the retractor (switchable retractor). This feature is designed for car seat installation.  If the seat belt were to become wrapped around a child, he or she may not be able to free themselves.  There have been times when a child has switched the retractor to locking mode while the shoulder belt was around their neck, causing the risk of strangulation.  This is primarily considered to be a behavioral issue and caregivers should monitor their children and teach them not to play with seat belts. This is also seen sometimes in older children who buckle themselves, lock the seat belt unknowingly and become entangled during movement in vehicle (which should be minimal).

Caregivers can start by buckling any unused seat belts and engaging the locking feature by pulling the shoulder portion of the belt all the way out.  Then feed the slack back into the retractor, this way the shoulder portion of the seat belt will not be able to be pulled back out without unbuckling the seat belt if the retractor is switchable. When installing a car seat with LATCH, some car seat instructions allow for buckling the seat belt through the car seat belt path, locking the seat belt, but not tightening (read owner’s manual before doing this). This is something to help prevent entanglement. In addition to seat belt entanglement, we now have the risk of children becoming entrapped in vehicle power windows. All of this can be avoided with education and supervision.

Tips to increase safety in and around vehicles:

■Do not let children play in or around cars.
■Never leave a child unattended in or around a vehicle.
■Always ensure children are properly restrained.
■Teach children that seat belts and power windows are not toys.
■Be aware that some seat belts have a retractor that locks if pulled all the way out.
■If a child has an unused seat belt within reach:
■Buckle unused seat belts. Pull the seat belt out all the way to the end without yanking. Then, feed the excess webbing back into the retractor.
■If a child seat is installed with LATCH, consider completing the steps above before you install the child seat. Always consult your child safety seat and vehicle owner’s manual for installation instructions. Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians are available to assist with proper installation as well.

power-windows-girl-windowPower Window Education:  http://www.kidsandcars.org/power-windows.html

Although the whole thing sounds crazy, it does happen http://bit.ly/kpVrNo.  Do you know a child who has become entangled in a vehicle seat belt?  What do you think about the seat belt entanglement issue?   Join hands with Lexlee’s Kids in caring for your kid’s safety. If you have questions or comments about vehicle or child safety, post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225.372.3991.