In an emergency, know these right (and wrong) ways to purposely shatter automotive glass
Most CPSTs have noticed that TV shows rarely depict CPS best practices. An episode from ABC’s Modern Family provides a good example when a dad frantically runs toward his vehicle intending to break a window with a garbage can to free his infant daughter locked inside.
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Regular column will highlight vehicle-specific tips from SRN’s vehicle specialist
In a new column, “Ask Katrina,” SRN will share vehicle-related CPS information from Katrina Rose, SRN collaborator and vehicle liaison for the LATCH Manual. Katrina regularly fields questions posed by technicians in the field, so this column will provide an opportunity to share her answers and insights with all SRN readers.
We’ll kick off the column with a fundamental question:
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SRN readers are likely to be savvy users of the most fundamental resources for CPSTs—all the more reason to read this article carefully for important updates.
Readers may have noticed a couple of new resources mentioned a lot lately: Child Passenger Safety Learning Portal and the National CPS Board YouTube page. Both have popped up quite a bit in recent social media posts and articles directed at CPSTs, and some readers may have already bookmarked these links. But these particular resources warrant a closer look, as they are not simply handy new websites to keep in our back pocket (though they are indeed handy). In fact, they represent important revisions to how key CPS information is offered—and will be offered going forward. As such, all CPSTs should be aware of these resources and incorporate them into their CPS practice.
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CPSTs are occasionally approached by caregivers whose children struggle with car sickness, and those with younger children sometimes wonder if riding rear facing is the crux of this problem. In Washington state (where the law requires children to ride rear facing until age 2), state CPS coordinator Cesi Velez was asked a question on this theme. The caregiver of a 19-month-old wanted to know if a doctor could issue her a letter of exemption from the state’s child occupant protection (COP) law. Her child had been vomiting in her car seat, and the parent felt that having the child face forward would solve the problem.
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Nowadays, it’s a given that data drives professional decision-making. So, it’s essential for those working in the CPS field to be aware of and have access to reliable data sources. Important activities, including budgeting, program planning, fundraising, research, and advocacy, all benefit from using relevant data.
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A few years ago, SRN reported on an emerging phenomenon: CRs with features that looked and acted like lock-offs but weren’t.
Since then, these features have become more common. Nowadays, CPSTs who see anything that looks like a lock-off ask, “Is that a true lock-off?” While a mechanism that functions as a lock-off must be a “true,” authentic lock-off, “true lock-off” has become part of the CPST vernacular when wondering whether a CR part that appears to be a lock-off actually is one.
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It’s important for CPSTs to understand what is (and isn’t) a lock-off
Until 1996, CR installation with a lap-shoulder belt nearly always required using a locking clip to hold the belt tight. This was often difficult (or altogether overlooked), so it was a relief when other solutions came along.
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Articles in a few of the past SRN issues have covered editor Denise Donaldson’s Seattle-area team as it transitioned to using the National Digital Car Seat Check Form (NDCF). This report provides an update on hardware and basic troubleshooting.
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On August 1, NHTSA amended FMVSS 213 to require CRs to meet a dynamic side-impact test. This final rule, added as FMVSS 213a, fulfills a mandate from Congress and is much like NHTSA’s 2014 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on this topic. Below are the answers to some basic questions CPSTs may have about this new rule.
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Imagine a world in which some CRs offer LATCH or seat belt installation mode, but not both options. Where vehicles don’t have a standardized lockability requirement, so, unless the CR has a lock-off, a locking clip is necessary for seat belt installations. And where many CRs with lock-off functionality require a seat belt that’s so long it often can’t be used.
In fact, you are imagining the world—as a whole—that we live in today! And that’s just considering the jumble of confusing CR/vehicle matchups in countries where CRs are available and used. In many, many countries, CRs are scarcely on the radar.
Read More from “For Most of the World’s Children, CPS a Work in Progress”