Saturday, May 24, 2008

a forward we will go

I mentioned earlier this week that because we weighed Signal and he's now over 30 pounds, we had to turn him forward facing in his car seat. Although the legal minimum where we are to forward face is 1 year and 20 pounds, it is recommended by car seat safety technicians that children stay rear facing until the limits of their seat. Sadly, Signal was already there at 17.5 months.I'm still pretty stressed about the whole thing, but I know that we didn't have any other option. At this moment in time, there are no car seats available in Canada that rear face past 30 pound. I wish we were in Europe and could snag a seat that would keep him rear facing until closer to 50 pounds, but we're not.

Since I am going to be a course next month to become a certified car seat restraint safety technician, I did get a bit excited by the prospect of playing around with Signal's seat a bit. I have to say that the Britax Marathon is truly a dream to install. In less than 10 minutes we had the seat uninstalled, the straps adjusted up to the third strap height, and the seat reinstalled. LATCH is a fine, fine invention (if you have a car built in 2002 or later, you have LATCH.) I find it a lot easier to get the Marathon installed using LATCH, although I have done belt installs in two different vehicles before just fine too. Anyhow, I was pretty proud. I also made sure to top tether our seat. In case you weren't aware, top tethering is mandatory for all forward facing seats in Canada. If you have an older car without tether anchors, you need to see your dealer about getting them retrofitted. Having you car seat installed and not anchored is illegal, not to mention not nearly as safe. If you need more info, leave a comment on the blog and I'll get in touch with more info.

Here are two pictures of him sitting forward in his seat. These were taken yesterday, on his second forward facing ride in the car.

After posting some of my pictures on a car seat safety website I belong to asking for people to take a peek at my install, I figured out that Signal was actually too tall for the 3rd strap height in the Marathon, and I needed to move them up to the 4th slot. The top slot. Yes sir, our 17.5 month old is now using the top slot on his Marathon. What does this mean, you ask? It means that we'll definitely have to buy him another harnessed seat before he moves to a booster, because there's no way he'll be mature (old) enough to sit properly in a booster when he outgrows his Marathon (and the Marathon is the seat with the second highest top harness slots available in Canada.) Here's a picture from today, showing the height that the straps are at now.

All of this fun with Signal's car seat has made me even more excited for my CRST class than I was before. I can't wait to get in there and start learning more about car seat safety, and playing with all of the different seats available on the market. Once I am certified I'll be able to volunteer at car seat checks and help other ensure that their children are safely restrained too. As many as 4 out of 5 children in Canada are not properly restrained in motor vehicles. Maybe I can help change that, one kid at a time.


Jen said...

I LOVE how easy Britax car seats are to install, and how well-built they are. We have a Marathon as well and it's just so great to be able to pop it out of our car and into a friend's car in 5 minutes or less. LATCH is so excellent - I don't understand, though, why I didn't encounter a single car with LATCH in Europe. That was a pain and a half.

Luckily Britax makes several good seats for even bigger kids. I also have a friend who had a very tall child and she bought him a Recaro seat - she has complete faith in them since they make seats for race cars!!

We turned our son forward before we wanted to, too, not so much for the weight thing but because he didn't get any cool air sitting facing backwards and he was getting overheated in his seat in summer.

M said...

Sadly, at this moment in time the Marathon is the biggest Britax available in Canada (other than the Parkway booster.) We are supposed to get the new Britax Frontier by the end of the summer, so that will likely be our next seat. The Regent is what I wish we could have, but I don't know that it will ever be available here. The Recaro seats aren't available in Canada either. We need better high weight harnessing options!!

mamamilkers said...

Oh, he is so cute in his cow print seat! Both of my girls have Marathons, too. We love them! Of course, they are both top-tethered!