Insights From a Team Adopting the NDCF, Part 2

Part 2 of a 4-part series. This article is followed by links to part 1, 3, and 4 of this series, an editorial by Denise Donaldson about why her team is adopting the NDCF and information about the steps she took to use the NDCF at checkup events.

Here are the first steps taken by the Car Safe Kids team in the Seattle area to begin using the NDCF.

An annual winter hiatus provided an ideal opportunity for my CPS team, Car Safe Kids, to do some preparation and training before adopting the NDCF in 2022. For readers who are also considering this process, here are the steps I’ve taken so far:

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Transition to NDCF to Energize CPS Data

Part 1 of a 4-part series. This article appeared as an editorial by Denise Donaldson and is followed by links to part 2, 3, and 4 of this series, information about the steps she took to prepare her checkup-event team and use the NDCF at checkup events.

Since the mid-90s, I’ve run a CPS program based in the Seattle area. My team and I have logged thousands of seat checks, and after each checkup event, I let the team and our host agency know our totals—how many checks overall, how many for expectant parents, rear- versus forward-facing, and so on. Then, at year-end, I calculate annual and cumulative figures of our efforts.
These objective reflections of our work give us useful perspective and can be energizing. But lately, a sad truth has dawned on me: We have lazy data!

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What’s Up With Missing CR Labels?

Technicians are wise to carefully scrutinize CRs these days. Noncompliant models are appearing more often than in the past, mainly due to online, third-party sellers. The noncompliant car seat of one travel system (sold online with a continually changing name that is currently Comfy Baby) has been ubiquitous. It has a three-point harness and flimsy parts, but what immediately jumps out is the CR’s utter lack of labels.

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Safe Sleep (and CRs) Back in the News

Although it’s apparent from this image of an inclined sleeper that these devices are very different from CRs, CPSTs should know about the rules governing sleep-related products for children and provide safe sleep guidance to caregivers.

The topic of safe sleep has been in regulatory and legal news lately as the risk of infant death in products called “inclined sleepers” has begun to spur action (see box below). Inclined sleepers are portable sleep devices that put a baby’s back at an angle of up to about 30 degrees. Over the past 15 or so years, these devices have been linked to infant airway obstruction (from head flopping) or suffocation (from rolling into the padding or partially out of the device). These incidents have led to dozens of infant deaths, with 74 reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in 2019 alone. Read More from “Safe Sleep (and CRs) Back in the News”

Heatstroke: 100% Preventable! These resources can help save a life.

Mere days before National Heatstroke Prevention Day on May 1, a 5-month-old baby girl in North Carolina was this year’s first victim of vehicular heatstroke. SRN reminds readers that heatstroke death is 100% preventable!  Please utilize the extensive resources that exist to educate caregivers on this topic

Heatstroke Prevention Resources

Find free resources and information from the following sources:

Heatstroke Prevention Online Training

The National Safety Council (NSC) offers an online training module called “Children in Hot Cars.” This interactive training uses graphics, audio, and video to teach three main topics related to child heatstroke dangers:

  • Why do cars heat up?
  • How do children die in hot cars?
  • What can YOU do?

The learner can progress at his or her own pace, following links to supporting studies, lists, and information found at the NSC site and others, such as and Although the learner may opt to linger over an array of helpful links, the basic module takes only about 10 minutes to complete.

The training offers many practical tips to prevent heatstroke deaths and is suitable for any audience: CPSTs, caregivers, or any other member of the public.

Go to and search “kids in hot cars” or click here to find the module. A certificate of completion is provided at the end of the training.

Heatstroke Prevention Bill

To learn about a bill, reintroduced to Congress in May 2021, that would require new vehicles to have built-in technology to remind people when a child has been left inside, click here. This site offers many other resources, including descriptions of the latest child-detection technology for vehicles and guidance for those who’d like to write to their legislator in support of the act.