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It’s been a decade since the federal government required that all passenger vehicles have the LATCH system for car seats – and most parents still can’t figure out how it works.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), parents who want to keep their kids safe are finding it difficult to properly install child restraints in vehicles using the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH for short). If you’ve cursed under your breath trying to figure out how it works, you can thank the automakers for your frustration. A report released by the IIHS and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute states that automakers design seats in ways that make LATCH difficult to use.
If you’ve got a full house, it means that you have a full car. And it probably means that you’ve spent a lot of frustrating time trying to fit three child-safety seats in the back seat of your car. It’s much easier with a minivan, but when you’ve got a car, it can drive you to distraction.
If you’re dead-set against getting a minivan, there are some cars out there that fit three child-safety seats in the back. In order to safely fit three of these seats in the backseat, there must be enough room between the booster seat and safety seat for a child’s hand to reach the seat belt buckle.
Here is a check list of cars that aren’t minivans that can fit three child seats in the back, following the safety specifications listed above:
2012 Honda Pilot
2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
2011 Chrysler 300 and 300C
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee
2011 Land Rover LR4
2011 Nissan Murano
[Source: Kicking Tires]
We all know that child car seats are meant to help protect your kids, but new tests results put out by Healthy Stuff say that half of 2011 child car seats contain the use of chemicals that are known to result in unexpected health problems.
The organization, which as been testing car safety seats since 2008, tested for bromine, chlorine and other heavy metals. And even though they did find that half of the car seats made in 2011 did contain some of these elements, there is some good news – since Healthy Stuff started testing, the average rankings have improved by 64 percent.
If you’re in the market for a new child car seat, keep this list handy:
Most Toxic 2011 Car Seats:
- Infant Seat: Graco Snugride 35 in Edgemont Red/Black & Graco SnugRide 30 in Asprey
- Convertible Seat: Britax Marathon 70 in Jet Set & Britax Marathon in Platinum
- Booster Seat: Recaro Pro Booster in Blue Opal & Recaro ProSPORT Toddler in Mist
Least Toxic 2011 Car Seats:
- Infant Seat: Chicco KeyFit 30 in Limonata, Graco Snugride 35 in Laguna Bay & Combi Shuttle 33 in Cranberry Noche
- Convertible Carseat: Graco Comfort Sport in Caleo, Graco MyRide 65 in Chandler and Streamer, Safety 1st OnSide Air in Clearwater, and Graco Nautilus Elite 3-in-1 in Gabe
- Booster Seat: Graco Turbo Booster in Anders
If you want to see the full list what seat made the list, head on over to the Healthy Stuff site (you can even add your name to the petition for safer products). Partnering with The Alliance for Toxic-Free Fire Safety, Healthy Stuff is attempting to pressure the “largest car seat retailers, Graco and Evenflo, to take leadership to disclose and phase out hazardous chemical flame retardant additives”.
They may be safe enough to race in, but these safety seats are made especially for your little passengers. Recaro, makers of automobile and race car seat technology as well as an innovator in side impact protection, has introduced the ProSERIES line of car seats. It’s Recaro’s latest addition to their line of child seats based on the company’s race-track proven mobile seating technology.
This new line includes the ProRIDE, the ProSPORT and the ProBOOSTER seats. What’s great about these car seats is that they are specifically designed to deliver comfort and safety as your child grows.
“Recaro’s new ProSERIES seats are designed to not only deliver maximum protection, but the ultimate in comfort for the entire time a child is required to be in a car seat,” said Jonathan Sieber, director of Sales & Marketing for Recaro North America. “We have already received a significant amount of positive feedback from parents that appreciate not only the ProSERIES’ safety design, but its great looks and overall ease-of-use. Recaro was also able to achieve a 90-pound harness weight capacity on the ProSPORT which is the highest available in its class.”
This line will fit children ranging from 5 to 120 pounds. The ProRIDE convertible seat can face the rear and then be turned it to face forward as your child grows, and is designed for children from 5 to 70 pounds and 50 inches in height or less. The ProSPORT is a combo harness/booster car seat made for children weighing between 20 and 90 pounds when used in harness mode and 30 to 120 pounds when used in booster mode (children must also be less than 59 inches tall). The ProBOOSTER has 11 head restraint positions and is built for children from 30 to 120 pounds and from 37 to 61 inches in height.
Offering the luxury and safety for any car trip, the ProSERIES is a high-quality child restraint system. Each of these seats incorporate Recaro’s innovative Side Impact Protection system designed to specifically protect each of the 5 vulnerable areas of a child in a side impact collision – head, neck, face, torso and pelvis.
The ProSERIES line of child seats are now available at retailers across North America.