AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Weight limit labels for child safety seats have been revised to account for the child’s weight and the seat itself.
The folks at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have just released the results of their latest evaluation. They put 31 child booster seats to the test to find out which ones do the best job of protecting youngsters in crashes.
U.S. state representative Mike Rogers thinks so, calling it “asinine” that people in Alabama can still do it legally.
According to a recent survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 91 percent of children under 13 are using car seats, booster seats, and belts.
Now that summer is officially upon us, it won’t be long before those horrible stories of kids accidently left in hot cars start hitting the news. But there’s a product that aims to eradicate this tragic occurrence – the Elite Pad System.
Purchase incentives usually involve a zero-percent interest rate, cash back after purchase or no-cost options, but Nissan is going another direction to target families with young children.
One of the problems a family that relies on child seats faces is finding a product that fits both their cars and child. For those of us without kids, it’s easy to assume that all seats fit all cars and kids, right? Wrong.
Kids come in all different shapes and sizes – so does one type of car safety seat fit all? An important question that seems to be popping up more frequently is if overweight children need a car seat that’s designed just for them – and according to a new study, the answer is no.
The study, which was conducted by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention, found no evidence of increased injury risk for children across a broad weight range. That means that an overweight child who is placed properly in a car seat that’s correctly installed is no more likely than a child of average weight.
“Given that nearly 32 percent of children in the United States are categorized as overweight or obese, and motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for all children, we wanted to better understand how these two threats to children’s health interact,” said Dr. Mark Zonfrillo, the lead author of the study and an attending emergency physician at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “This research should reassure parents that their only concern when it comes to car seat safety should be to follow the most recent guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics.”
Zonfriollo offers a great tip for re-evaluating you child’s safety seat needs – during your child’s scheduled doctor’s appointments. You’ll be able to get accurate weight and height measurements, which you can then use to gauge acceptable ranges on the seat’s labels or instructions.
Temperatures are on the rise and it’s important to remember the dangers of leaving children in a hot car. According to child safety organization Kids and Cars, since 1998 through to the end of May 2011, 500 children have died as a result of being unintentionally left in a hot car.
And even though public awareness of this issue is still high, it’s surprising to learn that in 2010, 49 children died from vehicular heat stroke – that’s the highest number of deaths in one year since data has been recorded. Perhaps it’s because all it takes is the slightest change in routine, a poor night’s sleep or a tough day at the office to set this tragic wheel in motion.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind during the summer to help keep kids safe:
• Even if it’s only for a minute, never leave a child unattended in a vehicle.
• When you unload your car, double check to make sure that everyone is out. And always use your key to lock the door – it will force you to look in the car before you leave it.
• While away from your car, always lock it and keep keys and remotes away from children.
• When a child is in the back seat, keep a stuffed animal in the front passenger seat as a reminder.
• Put something important, such as a purse, cell phone of briefcase, in the backseat. That way, you’ll always have to check back there before you leave your car.
• If you drop your child off at daycare, be sure to have them call you if your child does not show up.
• If you see a child alone in a car on a warm day, call 911.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
Children are precious cargo and their safety is always top of mind when you’re driving. And Ford knows this – that’s why the automaker is making headway in the research into one of the first research projects to build a digital human model of a child.
This digital model will feature lifelike re-creations of a child’s skeletal structure, internal organs and brain and could one day serve as a digital dummy for computer crash testing. A decade in the making, researchers have used child MRIs to replicate body parts and organs so they better understand how a crash affect children and adults differently.
“We study injury trends in the field, and we know that traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for people from age 1 to 34,” said Dr. Steve Rouhana, Senior Technical Leader for Safety, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering. “We want to better understand how injuries to younger occupants may be different. A child’s body is very different from an adult’s. Building a digital human model of a child will help us design future systems that offer better protection for our young passengers.”
But don’t expect the result to come anytime soon, as building this kind of a model is intricate work. In fact, Ford began work on the adult human body model in 1993 and didn’t complete it until 2004. It’s also important to note that digital models are used in research and don’t replace of crash dummies. These digital models help researchers understand how to improve restraint system effectiveness through better understanding of injury mechanisms.
If you are looking for a quick way to learn how to juggle, just haul around a car seat. Anyone with kids will tell you they are cumbersome, bulky and an armful, especially if you’re carrying anything else with you. Wouldn’t it be great if car seats were as light as air? Well, the next best thing may be on the market soon – Inflatable car seats.
The Easycarseat is an inflatable seat that is suitable for kids four and up and who weigh 33 to 79 pounds. Tipping the scales at around two pounds, the Easycarseat costs about $90 and is easy to fold up when you need to take it with you.
Perfect for families who like to travel or switch cars regularly, the Easycarseat has met all applicable U.S. and European safety standards (according to the company). In case of an accident, the seat comes with a pressure release valve that prevents the seat from popping. If you’re still not convinced of its safety merits, you can watch a demo and a crash test video after the jump.
It’s time to double check your car seats. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is saying that many young children are still being placed in the wrong restraint or booster seat systems.
Last week was Child Passenger Safety week, so now is the right time to ensure that you have the right car seat for your child. It’s also important that these safety seats have been inspected to make sure they’re working properly.
NHTSA 2009 stats show that child fatalities from motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death for children ages 3 to 14. Last year, an average of four children age 14 and younger were killed and 490 were injured every day.
“Make no mistake about it: child safety seats save lives,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Children who graduate too soon from their safety seats are at risk of serious injury. Parents and caregivers should ensure that safety seats are installed correctly and should always use them. Their children depend on it.”
Children usually outgrow their forward-facing seats around age 4 and at about 40 pounds. At this time, they should graduate to booster seats until the seat belts in the vehicle fit properly. You know that a seat belt fits properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest (they usually fit kids once they turn 8 or when they are 4’9″ tall).
The NHTSA released a survey on booster seat, which found that just 41 percent of 4- to 7-year-old children ride in booster seats, virtually unchanged from the prior year. In 2009, restraint use for children age 1 to 3 years increased from 92 percent in 200, while restraint use for all children under age 13 remained stayed the same at 89 percent.
When it comes to your most precious cargo, you want to make sure your kids are well protected in case of those worst-case scenarios. Research has stated that using child safety seats can help reduce injuries and deaths in a crash, and new findings support the use of mandated booster seats.
There’s a new study out that will be of particular interest to parents. Conducted by the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, this new study is the first to look at injury rates before and after a state law on booster seats went into effect. Taking a look at New York State booster seat law (implemented in March 2005), the study found that injuries in children ages 4 to 6 years old dropped 18 percent. This improvement is due to the increase in use of boosters after the child restraint law was upgraded, from 29 percent to 50 percent.
More research that also supports the benefits of boosters was conducted by the Journal of Pediatrics in 2009. This study found that children aged 4-8 years old who used booster seats were 45 percent less likely to sustain injuries than children who were just using the vehicle’s seat belt.
Child seat laws vary from state to state. All states require a child restraint for children through age 3, while most require a restraint for children until at least 7 years old. Even if the state you live in doesn’t have a law regarding this issue, safety organizations and the government recommend that you keep children in an appropriate child restraint until they are able to fit the vehicles belts both comfortably and safely (usually when they are around 4ft. 9- inches tall). It’s also recommended that all children under age 13 should ride in the rear seat.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
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.
The summer is supposed to be a happy, carefree time for kids. But so far this summer, in fact, in one deadly week (June 13-20), seven children in the U.S. have already died of hyperthermia after being left in a hot car or after playing in one and being trapped inside. The statistics are scary – an average of 30 to 40 children die each year due to hyperthermia from being left in a hot car for too long, and there have been 462 deaths since 1998.
General Motors wants to stem the tide, so they are working with Safe Kids USA to promote education and awareness through the Never Leave Your Child Alone program. Information gathered shows that most cases of child hyperthermia cases (51 percent) are caused by children being accidentally left behind in cars. Another 30 percent are unattended children become trapped in an unlocked vehicle, while 18 percent are children who are knowingly left behind by parents or caregivers.
And it can get hot in a vehicle pretty quickly – it can reach over 110 degrees Fahrenheit in just 20 minutes on an 80-degree day. These soaring temperatures effect children the most, as their body temperature rises at three-to-five times the rate of the typical adult, which means they can suffer from heat stroke in a matter of minutes.
To raise awareness to this issue, GM and Safe Kids USA offer useful information on how to prevent a tragic situation, such as calling 911 if you see a child unattended in a vehicle, never leaving children alone in a vehicle, even for a short period of time, and to set your cell phone or Blackberry reminder to alert you drop your child off at daycare. They even put together a helpful video of tips – watch it after the jump.
With all the stories in the news and using a little common sense, you’d think that we’d be hearing less about kids being left in locked cars during the summer. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. New information shows that the number of infants and toddlers deaths from being left inside hot cars is higher through the first half of this year than at any time since the statistic was first tracked in the late 1990s.
This year alone, 18 children have died of hyperthermia, eight of them reported since June 13. Sadly, many of these cases involved children who climbed inside an unlocked vehicle on a hot day and then couldn’t get out.
This information was complied by Jan Null, an adjunct professor of meteorology at San Francisco State University, from data on the cases through media reports, which states that 37 children typically die each year from heat exhaustion in vehicles. The recent onslaught of deaths in June is disturbing, as July tends to be the most deadly month for children trapped in hot cars.
“These really are good parents who love these kids who make a mistake that turns out to be fatal,” said David Strickland, the administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The government’s highway safety agency issued a consumer advisory this week that included a warning for parents not to leave children unattended in or near a vehicle.
Although it may seem like common sense, it seems like adults need to be reminded to never leave their children in an unattended vehicle or allow kids to play in cars and trucks. Make it a habit to lock your vehicle doors once you park it, and keep your car keys in a safe place where little hands can’t reach them.
[Source: Kicking Tire]
No more teachers, no more books! School’s out for summer, and with the warm weather, kids are headed outdoors to make the most of their time off. It also means parents need to be extra vigilant when it comes to keep track of youngsters, especially when it comes to their vehicles.
So far this year, child safety group Kids and Cars have reported 100 non-traffic fatalities, which includes 35 frontovers, 32 backovers, and 18 related to heat. Expect more sad stats to come, as injuries and deaths peak in the summer months. In fact, seven children died of heat stroke last week after being left along in cars.
Consumer reports as put together a video, as well as some tips, on how you can do your part to prevents these types of tragedies:
- Kids should never be left alone in a car, as the interior temperature rising quickly, and children being particularly vulnerable to temperature changes. There’s also the risk of a child disengaging a parking brake, which could set the vehicle in motion.
- If you’re changing up your everyday routine, be sure to check your car before you leave for the day. To remind yourself that there is a child in the car, you can use a hint such as a stuffed animal in the front seat so you don’t forget to check the rear. Another good idea is to put an essential item such as your purse or briefcase in the back seat – that way you’ll be forced to open the back door before locking up.
- When entering or reversing from a driveway, make sure there are no children in the way and go slowly. Music should be turned off, and a backup camera comes in handy, especially if you have a large vehicle
- To ensure that kids don’t get into your car while you’re not around, always lock the doors and keep the windows rolled up.
- If you’re in a parking lot, have a casual and quick look around to see if any children are left in their vehicles. If so, take action and call 911 immediately.
Watch the video after the jump.