And Then There Was i-Size!

I must apologize for not posting too much these days, I have so much I want to write about. 
Thinking of it I should really try putting up more drafts when I have time, and then have them publish then and then! hehe
It’s just the summer time isn’t it? We don’t have time to sit much inside in this nice warm weather, but I still feel bad for not posting in a while. 🙂
Buuut..what can you do when the sun is shining and your melting away in 30C? ^^

As you all (who follow me anyway hehe) know, I went to the Maxi Cosi iSize event. 🙂
It was FUN. I learned a great deal, had a nice chat to people and I got a sneak peak on iSize. Super exited!

So what is iSize and what does it mean?

The following pictures and information is taken from the i-Size brochure I was given at the meeting: (Text in bold are my own.)

iSize is a new legislation that increases the safety level of children in cars and will extend rearward facing travel and promote the use of IsoFix as a new European standard. It wad enforced on 9th July 2013, while the current standard ECE R44/04 will remain in effect for all other child car seats until 2018.

This legislation makes rearward facing travelling mandatory up to 15 months old for i-Size products. The standard ensures a better protection at higher forces in the case of frontal and side collisions and a better protecttion of head and neck. i-Size also moves to a length classification for choosing the right car seat instead of weight.
i-Size also promotes IsoFix, which has less chance of being incorrectly used than belted car seats.

Why do we need new rules?

Child safety has been evolving over time. The number of child fatalities has decreased but car accidents are still the leading cause of child deaths.

week
Many parents move their baby to the next stage car seat at around 9 months because either their child is too heavy to carry in a group 0+ car seat or the baby’s feet stick out of the seat shell. Also, the current law accepts 9kg for group 1, but this is not the safest way of travelling!

The head and neck are the most vulnerable during a crash.

head

A child’s spine does not begin to fuse until approx 3 years of age, and is not done fusing until approx 6 years old, one of the main reasons to RF as long as possible. The head in proportion to the body is quite heavy and large, accounting for 25% of their body weight, while an adult’s head only takes up 6%.
The developmental rate of the skeleton is the same in any child no matter how heavy or tall they are, meaning your one year old may look 2 years old or be the size of a two year old, but inside, he’s skeletal build is no where near. 

9391069

The human spine is made up of 24 vertebrae, seven cervical (neck), 12 thoracic (upper back) and five lumbar (lower back) vertebrae.
The photo shows the vertebrae of a one year-old on the left, and those of a six year-old on the right. In a one year-old each vertebra consists of three pieces of bone which are connected by cartilage.
The picture on the left shows where in the body these bones are located.
The bones in the neck of a small child are not developed enough to protect the spinal cord. When they are involved in a car crash in a forward facing car seat, the weight of the head combined with the immature skeleton, can cause the spinal cord to stretch up to two inches. If it stretches just half an inch it will snap. This is known as internal decapitation and causes paralysis or death.
Phto and text credit: http://www.rearfacingtoddlers.com

In Conclution…

It is safer to travel rearward facing longer and to use IsoFix (make no mistake, belted is just as safe as long as it is correctly installed, but to make things easier i-Size has, as mentioned, decided to focus on IsoFix as this is simpler) Maxi – Cosi’s involvement on the i-Size legislation will improve the compatibility between car seats and cars with the support leg. It will be supporting all regulating organisations such as GRSP and CLEPA. Plus, Maxi-Cosi have been involved in measuring and defining new sizing classifications (3D child project).

* * *

27

What do  the numbers say?

People hate the numbers. How many times haven’t you heard the line; “Back in the day…” or “When I was young..” “…and I’m FINE!”?
I imagine that if more people knew the actual numbers maybe they wouldn’t use these phrases. Fact of the matter is that we didn’t know as much  then as we do know, or…we did some places (see Sweden), but the rest of the world I imagine had a hard time thinking that just ‘Søta Bror’ would know more then a fair share of other excellent researchers right?

Well, let me show you the numbers dated from 1999 to 2008:

statistickExcuse the small finger prints. xD I have a small person who grabbed it hehe. 

Another important thing, and one of the reasons why i-Size is choosing to focus on IsoFix is as I stated previously, that it’s simpler to install. Though it ofc. happens that they are wrongly installed! BUT it IS simpler.

Have a look at this cake that shows fatalities related to the car seat use: (this is not based on RF, but car seat use in general):

roundThe numbers are quite shocking aren’t they? 😦

 

injuries

As we can see, the head and neck have the highest percentage of injury in a frontal collision.
We can also see that in a side impact collision, the head injury is still on the highest percentage followed by chest.
I am therefore very glad the new i-Size makes side impact testing mandatory!
Some car seats are in fact side impact tested, but this is not something covered in ECE R44/04 ‘s testing to get approved.

* * *

I have now tried to cover everything on i-Size, but if  you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to write it in a comment below, or on my face book page  –> https://www.facebook.com/ErfMission if you like this blog, I would love for you to hit the “Like” button on the page. 🙂

And as a quick “sum it up” :

i-size.keyfacts

Have a wonderful weekend and I shall see you all later! 🙂

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The Sun KILLS!

wheresbaby_4c_horz

Summer has reached us for full force all around parts of the world, and in this time of sunshine and happiness tragic things occur. Every year there is sadly at least one incident in the media of a parent leaving their child in the car.
Luckily this doesn’t always end in tragedy, but far too often it does.

In the US so far this year, 15 children have died as a result of heat stroke from being left in the car.

*So far in 2013 there have been at least fifteen deaths of children unattended in vehicles; seven which has been confirmed as heatstroke and eight which, based upon the known circumstances, are most likely heatstroke (2013 list).  Last year there were at least thirty-two deaths of children (see 2012 list) due to hyperthermia (heatstroke) after being left in or having gained access to hot cars, trucks, vans and SUV’s.  Since 1998 there have been at least 575 documented cases of heatstroke deaths of children in vehicles.  This study shows that these incidents can occur on days with relatively mild (i.e., ~ 70 degrees F) temperatures and that vehicles can reach life-threatening temperatures very rapidly.* – http://www.ggweather.com/heat/

  • Circumstances
    • An examination of media reports about the 559 child vehicular heatstroke deaths for an thirteen year period (1998 through 2012) shows the following circumstances:
      • 52% – child “forgotten” by caregiver (288 Children)
      • 29% – child playing in unattended vehicle (163)
      • 18% – child intentionally left in vehicle by adult  (100)
      • 2% – circumstances unknown (9)
  • Ages
    Children that have died from vehicular heatstroke in the United States (1998-2012) have ranged in age from 5 days to 14 years.  More than half of the deaths are children under 2 years of age.  Below are the percentage of total deaths (and the number of deaths) sorted by age.
    • Less than 1 year old = 31% (171)
    • 1-year old = 22% (122)
    • 2-years old = 20% (109)
    • 3-years old = 14% (78)
    • 4-years old = 6% (33)
    • 5-years old = 3% (17)
    • 6-years old = 2% (9)
    • 7-years old = < 1% (2)
    • 8-years old = 1% (3)
    • 9-years old = < 1% (2)
    • 10-years old = 1% (3)
    • 11-years old = < 1% (2)
    • 12-years old = < 1% (1)
    • 13-years old = < 1% (1)
    •  14-years old = < 1% (2)
    • Unknown = < 1% (2)

– Info grabbed from http://www.ggweather.com/heat/

The European Safety Alliance writes this on their info fact sheet:

Did you know that:
• During warm weather, car temperatures can rise 10 to 15
degrees Celsius every 15 minutes! Opening windows does not significantly slow down
the rate of temperature change.1
• A child’s body temperature rises 3 to 5 times faster than an adult’s due to lower water
reserves. 2
• Hyperthermia can occur in as little as 20 minutes, and fatalities within 2 hours.
Hyperthermia can occur on days as cool as just 22 degrees Celsius, when the inside of
a car can easily reach 47 degrees Celsius.3
• Most of the victims of hyperthermia incidents in cars are between 0 – 4 years of age.1

They also have some good presentational tips for  you:

Prevention Tips
• Dial 112 immediately if you see a child or children alone in a car.
• Place your personal items (purse, telephone, briefcase) on the floor of the backseat. That
way you are more likely to remember that the child is with you when you exit the car.
• Place the child’s personal items (diaper bag, bottle) in the front seat as a reminder to you.• Add a “reminder” to your computer calendar programme or telephone to ask if you dropped
your child/children off at day care/pre-school today.
• Whenever there is a change in drop off and pick up arrangements, confirm the plans with
your partner.
• Arrange that your day care provider or babysitter will call you if the child is not dropped off
when expected.
• Lock your car doors and trunk once everybody has exited the vehicle. Keep keys out of
reach of children.

Full fact sheet found <<HERE>>

All in all the most important thing we can do is make sure to always check the back seat before leaving the vehicle!
When I’m at a parking lot I always scan the cars around me just to make sure.
Just so far this year in Norway, there has been no less then two cases in the media of a small infant left alone in the car. Luckily for both they were discovered,saved and are today live and well. Both cases was where a parent left the child knowingly “for for a bit” to do the grocery shopping, or in the other case it was to go have lunch…sigh…
In both cases a person broke into the car to get the child out, as is the right thing to do in my honest opinion, if I saw a child in a car all alone on a hot day (doesn’t have to be sunny!) in obvious distress I don’t think I would think twice about breaking in to save the child! You can also ring the police before you break in and request permission, which is then given, this takes care of any problems that could occur with insurance.
That said, I would still break in if the child seamed to be ‘sleeping’.

So please! Check the back seat before you exit and PLEASE don’t EVER leave a child (or dog for that matter) in the car alone in these summery months!!

Useful links of info:

http://www.safekids.org/heatstroke
http://childcare.about.com/od/caregonewrong/a/leftincar.htm
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/heat/index.shtml
http://www.safercar.gov/parents/heatstroke.htm
http://www.childsafetyeurope.org

“How long does a 0+ car seat last?”

This is Henry in he’s Graco Junior.

He’s 8,5 months old at the picture, he’s in a cloth nappy which does take up a bit more space then a disposable so keep that in mind.
He’s a 98th percentile child of 76 CM (30inch) long and 10.5 KG. (approx. 21lb) He has a longish torso though of 32,5CM (13inch).

Henry still has room in this seat for a little while yet. 🙂

Remember that for every upgrade in car seat, the less safe the child becomes. Don’t be afraid to actually use the babyseat to the MAX, even if your friends are buying new ones. 🙂 This is what is recommended.

PS:
We are European, so for my american friends visiting this blog, american standars are at times different, please look in your car seat manual, it will most likely tell you when your child is outgrown the seat. 🙂

For Facebook users in –
America:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/CarSeatsForTheLittles/

For Europe:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/394663900632207/

https://www.facebook.com/RearFacingTheWayForward?fref=ts

Also don’t forget to follow me on twitter @ERFmama and like my FB page for updates that don’t always make it on the blog! 🙂

Carsickness – NOT a reason to Forward Face!

Image

Carsick…most of us has been there, and at some point most parents will have a child who suffers from it. Maybe not on a regular basis, but sometimes it happens.

So what do you do about it?
Too often I hear (or read..) that a parent chose to turn their child around FF (forward facing) too soon, because they claim carsickness, and it is then the parent’s belief that FF will cure the problem. You’ll even come across the claim that FF did cure the problem and the child is no longer carsick. The fact that the child is no longer carsick is of course a positive thing, no one likes to be ill, it’s neither fun or enjoyable, but FF is simply not the reason why the child is now “cured”.

– The FACTS:

80% OF ALL PEOPLE
WILL SUFFER FROM MOTION SICKNESS
AT 
ONE TIME OR ANOTHER
(http://www.motionsickness.org.za)

It is also a known fact (or maybe less known, but it’s still there) that women are more prone to travel sickness then men (especially during our cycle)  and children between 3 and 12 years of age are disproportionally prone to motion sickness.  But motion sickness is rare in children under 2 years! 😀

– The Cause?

Motion sickness is a conflict between your senses.  The brain relies on messages from your inner ear, muscles, and eyes to tell it how your body is moving. When any of these systems send different messages, you can get queasy.

This is often prone to happen if you ;

  • Read in the car – your inner ear knows you’re moving, but your muscles think that you are sitting still and your eyes don’t see anything moving because they’re looking at the page. Ergo – conflicting messages.
  • Think about being car sick – believe it or not, you can actually create it by worrying about it! Pretty cool…in an..not so cool way.
  • Ate a big meal before travelling, if the air is stuffy or filled with fumes. Oh and looking at a meal is going to make it worse, so I would advice not to.
  • Travel by boat. “Sea sickness” happens to pretty much all of us. It’s estimated that 100% of travellers experience it. Well, at least until you get used to the motion!

–  Signs and Symptoms:

The most common signs and symptoms of motion sickness include:

  • Nausea
  • Pale skin
  • Cold sweats
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Increased salivation
  • Fatigue

So what’s the CURE?

Believe it or not, doing more of the thing that made you car sick is going to help. Let me explain:
-You get carsick because you read in a book, or you read the map. Ergo, the more you read in the car/bus/train/plane, the less and less sick you will become, until your body has adapted. 😀

If travel sickness occurs, keeping the window open might help. Stopping the car and getting out for some fresh air is also helpful. If you are the driver and passenger(s) is feeling queasy  you should try and go easy on the turns in the road as that motion is not helping. Also putting on the Air-con or open windows.
For small children who are prone to travel sickness I would recommend “Sea bands”. You can get this at your local Boots or any other pharmacy  I used them for many many months every time I went into a car, even outside the car, while I was pregnant with my daughter. I was especially car sick then and had great help from those Sea Bands. 🙂
There is ofc always medication that can be taken to prevent travel sickness, but I’m not that sort of person who uses that, but if you ask your local pharmacist they would be able to help you there. 🙂

As a closing point, lets not forget that pretty much all children at one point or another will go through a phase where they do not want to go in the car. Not want to buckle in and so forth.
The important thing is: Never let your child dictate in car safety that would put them at risk! 🙂

Sources:  Motion sickness http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/motion-sickness-000110.htm#ixzz2UGCd1SRj
University of Maryland Medical Center
http://www.motionsickness.org.za/motion_sickness_003.htm
http://bodyandhealth.canada.com/channel_condition_info_details.asp?disease_id=183&channel_id=9&relation_id=10860