You've done all the planning and spending, and you're finally embarking on a much-needed family vacation. You've even reserved a rental car with a car seat for baby, so that you don't have to lug yours. So smart! Unless it's not, of course. While rental car companies offer infant and toddler car seats as an "added convenience" (and at an additional charge, of course), it turns out that the reality may be worse than you could've possibly imagined.
I'm nosy about car seats. I like to know what seats people have. I like to watch them buckle their kids, or unbuckle them, or watch the kids buckle themselves. I like to offer help when a friend is purchasing or installing a new seat....more
Well, winter is upon us (in many places, anyways!). And with that colder weather comes the need to bundle up and keep the family warm. But what about when you're in the car? Here are the dos and don'ts of winter car seat safety:...more
Reader Question: My son is 10 weeks old and HATES the car seat. It's the only place where I obviously can't pick him up to soothe him when he's crying. He'll seriously go from being a happy and content baby to crying even before we've strapped him in. Is there a way I can make the car seat a happy place for him?...more
Early yesterday morning as I nursed Doodle and did my usual e-mail check, Facebook check-in and Twitter browse, I came across a post from SafeKids Worldwide which is the agency that accredits Certified Passenger Safety Technicians. The tweet said:...more
I was shopping online a few days ago for my two-year-old, Jessi, for a winter coat. While skimming through reviews I was SHOCKED at how many people left reviews talking about buckling their kids into their car seats with their coats on. It was really scaring me to read that, because it was a reminder of how unaware people are of car seat safety....more
Car seats are too complicated. This is the conclusion I've come to. Most people do not install their car seats correctly. The ones that are aware of this demand to have their seats checked by a professional, but often the "professionals" are not certified either. Most people who do not install their seats correctly don't know that they haven't installed them correctly. On top of that, most people don't use the car seat properly once it's installed, compounding the problem.
If you're expecting a baby, I'm sure you've had dewy eyed dreams about that day you get to leave the hospital and head home to start life with your precious bundle of joy. But hold up, mom and dad. Have you researched your infant's car seat thoroughly? Do you know how to install it -- now -- before baby arrives? Do you know what all the buttons and gadgets and whozitwhatzits do? No? Get the manual out now!...more
Walking with my first-grader to and from school each day, I see lots of other kids of all ages riding scooters, skateboards, and bicycles. My son occasionally rides the scooter he got for his birthday, and, of course, always wears his helmet when he does so. The other skateboarders, scooter-riders, and bicyclists also wear helmets, per state law....more
Monday morning, we woke up to a broken water heater. In a sense, I knew it had to be coming. It was the original water heater that had come with the house, which was built 12 years ago. Water heaters don't last forever. On the other hand, I had really, really hoped it would be something I didn't have to worry about for a long, long time still. I wasn't prepared, financially or otherwise, to have my water heater break....more