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Discussion Starter #1
I found an interesting story in this morning's paper regarding a Cosco booster seat and some serious damages that were awarded to a family that used a Cosco booster seat:

http://www.dispatch.com/news-story.php?story=dispatch/news/news01/oct01/871414.html

What intrigued me most was the caption on the photo:

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">The Grand Explorer booster seat meets minimum standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But because the seat uses a padded plastic shield to restrain a child, rather than a safety harness, neither the NHTSA nor the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the seat.</font>
Wow. I found that fascinating, that a booster seat meets the NHTSA guidelines but isn't recommended by the NHTSA. Is that an indictment of the federal bureaucracy or what?

Am I wrong to read that as saying, "Just because the government says it's safe doesn't mean it's safe"??


Here's a very scary revelation:

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Grand Explorer seats are popular with consumers because they usually sell for less than $20, which is one-third the cost of many other booster seats.</font>
Just like I said, people will go cheap regardless of the consequences. I'm astounded at that. Price is everything, even when it comes to a child's safety. Wow.

And again an astounding fact:

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Tracy Elking, whose car was traveling about 35 mph, suffered a minor cut on her forehead, even though she was not wearing a seat belt, court records show.</font>
The driver met head-on with a grain truck that crossed the center line, received nothing more than a scratch on the head despite wearing no seat belt, and her daughter DIED.

WOW.

Folks, it's not up to the Feds in matters like this. Caviller is careful to avoid bias--properly so, no doubt--by stating that seats meet federal standards. But even proper use of this particular seat isn't good, according to the NHTSA whose guidelines the seat meets.

Go figure.

So how many other seats out there technically meet the guidelines but aren't any good? It's up to you, the parent, to investigate and decide. Don't take Uncle Sugar's word on it based solely on "it meets federal guidelines". Watching people do so is scary--almost as scary as watching them choose a child seat based on price.

In this case, people were lulled into buying this seat because it had Uncle Sugar's stamp of approval and it was cheap.

Wow.

Add to this the fact that booster seats are less regulated than seats for children under 4 years and/or 40 pounds, and you see the problems we face in trying to do the right thing for our children.

Just like with everything else with our children, it's up to us to know what to do and how to do it--and then just do it. If it means spending time on research and then paying a few bucks more for the right solution, so be it.

I will keep a PDF of this article around, in case anyone wants to see it later on after the paper archives it.
 

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Actually the part of that article that scares me the most was this quote:

"Cosco has sold an estimated 5 million since 1996."

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, no kidding.

By and large people do buy on price alone. I don't care if they do that for stereos and TVs and electric ranges, but. when I see that same behavior for car seats...

It makes me think that the federal government--the NHTSA in particular--is being extremely irresponsible in saying that the seat meets its guidelines but is not recommended. That's pure proof that their guidelines need to be changed.

Of course, that's probably a multi-year project involving millions of dollars and hundreds of people--sort of like when the FAA says it has to take 3 years to approve modifications to cockpit doors.
 

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Well Crappppp!! Excuse me for cussing. I just bought the Cosco booster in August because of convenience and not price. My 5 year old nephew was visiting here for 3 weeks and I bought the booster for him and for my 3.5 to use when he turns 4.

Actually I want to use it for my 3.5 when we travel by air and renting a car. Since I am expecting our newest son next month, I thought that backless booster would be more convenient to carry along with our infant's car seat.

Does anybody know if it is safe to use the Cosco without the shield? The shield is optional. Evenflo has Right Fit booster that uses the shoulder/lap belt which is similar to the Cosco when not using the shield. This is offered only through mail order or if you got a coupon from buying a Ford Explorer.

MMCD
 

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It makes me think that the federal government--the NHTSA in particular--is being extremely irresponsible in saying that the seat meets its guidelines but is not recommended. That's pure proof that their guidelines need to be changed.

It's a question of what role, if any, the government has in such arenas. A Saab may be a safer vehicle than a Yugo, yet both can be legally produced and sold. Should government set minimum standards and allow consumers to decide whether additional safety features are cost effective, or require that every product produced be as safe as possible? Some vehicles perform better than others in crash tests so, in effect, a 5 star vehicle is more recommended than a 3 star vehicle. Should the government ban vehicles that fail to achieve 5 stars?
Perhaps the insurance company should have a bigger role. If a safer carseat reduces the likelihood of paying out large injury settlements, one would think it might be wise for them to offer discounts for the use of safer seats, so that anyone considering a "cheap" seat, would see that in the long run it isn't any less expensive because they would lose out on insurance discounts.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The proper role of government, of course, is the bigger picture.

I think the NHTSA's stand on this issue is proof positive that the government should have NO role in this whatsoever. If one single agency can say two opposing things at the same time, there's a serious problem.

I agree--let the market decide. Let the insurance companies direct people by forcing costs in the appropriate direction. Businesses do this to themselves and their customers every day.

A free market works. It's plain to see that government intervention usually doesn't.
 

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Uh oh. Sounds like Adam's been reading a bit too much Ayn Rand.
(just kidding)

I agree; 'minimum' government standards all too quickly become 'maximum' standards as that becomes a target for manufacturers. I am all for the insurance companies running their own vehicle crash tests as well. I can't imagine anyone having an ax to grind with this; for me the more crash-data there is for a given vehicle the more informed my descion-making will be!

I think the Cosco seat is just fine when used without that shield as its just another booster that uses the vehicle's seat belts. Its only when that shield is used as a substitute for proper restraint that its a problem.
 

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Adam1991-

To refresh your memory, this topic isn't new. Ironically, I even posted a link to the issues surrounding shield boosters:

http://www.odyclub.com/ubb/Forum13/HTML/000027.html


The fact is that the government only does a frontal crash test with a limited number of dummies. I do not think it is a conradiction that a seat might pass the test in their standard, yet have a safety flaw of some other type. Clearly, the standards do need to be updated. They need to include side, rear and rollover testing, and have a wider array of dummy sizes and weights, and a wider array of benches more comparable to today's vehicles. Of course, they aren't going to get the money to do this, so we're left with finding out the hard way which seats have serious safety flaws not discovered in testing.


If you have zero faith in the government, then you are putting your faith in the manufacturers. Good luck. By all accounts, the builders of the Titanic thought it was unsinkable. Even in the auto industry, money talks. Witness GM trucks with external fuel tanks, Firestone tires or any number of other hazards due to manufacturer's trying to save a buck. You can even zero in on manufacturers with a good history, but if they are ever having bottom line problems, you can bet they will cut costs, too. I'm not content with the current standards, but I think modernizing them is far better than eliminating them. I happen to think the NHTSA is largely responsible for the fact that today's cars and carseats are far safer than those from 20 years ago. Injuries and deaths are dropping across the board. Well, except for SUV rollovers (if you believe the fed's latest statistics, anyway).

[This message has been edited by caviller (edited 10-03-2001).]
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by PMcMullen:
It makes me think that the federal government--the NHTSA in particular--is being extremely irresponsible in saying that the seat meets its guidelines but is not recommended. That's pure proof that their guidelines need to be changed.

It's a question of what role, if any, the government has in such arenas. A Saab may be a safer vehicle than a Yugo, yet both can be legally produced and sold. Should government set minimum standards and allow consumers to decide whether additional safety features are cost effective, or require that every product produced be as safe as possible? Some vehicles perform better than others in crash tests so, in effect, a 5 star vehicle is more recommended than a 3 star vehicle. Should the government ban vehicles that fail to achieve 5 stars?
Perhaps the insurance company should have a bigger role. If a safer carseat reduces the likelihood of paying out large injury settlements, one would think it might be wise for them to offer discounts for the use of safer seats, so that anyone considering a "cheap" seat, would see that in the long run it isn't any less expensive because they would lose out on insurance discounts.
</font>
Good points. Please consider that the NHTSA tests are supplemental to the government compliance tests which are pass/fail. Clearly, the government doesn't go far enough, which is why you see organizations like the IIHS and Consumer's Union do additional testing. Some people like to ride on a motorcycle without a helmet, weaving in and out of traffic between lanes. How far do you go with laws before you make people think your are reducing their choices? There's already a pro-SUV contingent clammoring about vehicle choice because of the proposed fuel economy laws. Can you imagine if the god-given right to drive a tiny convertible or rollover-prone mini-Ute were taken away because of safety concerns?

Anyway, I'm all for more testing, government or independent. The more information we have, the better. As it is, I see too many people that feel carseats are simply needed because the laws say so, and feel that their kids would be just as safe in their laps or in a seatbelt (or not!). Would I trust the same people to be able to make an educated decision about the safety of a carseat (based on appearance) if no testing was done at all? For these people, ratings and regulations are needed to insure the safety of their kids, not market economics. With no testing or comparative information, I think we'd see a lot more shield boosters being sold today, let alone other questionable products.

[This message has been edited by caviller (edited 10-03-2001).]
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by PMcMullen:
It makes me think that the federal government--the NHTSA in particular--is being extremely irresponsible in saying that the seat meets its guidelines but is not recommended. That's pure proof that their guidelines need to be changed.

It's a question of what role, if any, the government has in such arenas. A Saab may be a safer vehicle than a Yugo, yet both can be legally produced and sold. Should government set minimum standards and allow consumers to decide whether additional safety features are cost effective, or require that every product produced be as safe as possible? Some vehicles perform better than others in crash tests so, in effect, a 5 star vehicle is more recommended than a 3 star vehicle. Should the government ban vehicles that fail to achieve 5 stars?
Perhaps the insurance company should have a bigger role. If a safer carseat reduces the likelihood of paying out large injury settlements, one would think it might be wise for them to offer discounts for the use of safer seats, so that anyone considering a "cheap" seat, would see that in the long run it isn't any less expensive because they would lose out on insurance discounts.
</font>
Very well said.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">If you have zero faith in the government, then you are putting your faith in the manufacturers.</font>
First and foremost, I'm putting my faith in myself--to look at and evaluate the actual physical product.

To the extent that I'm dependent on the manufacturers putting out a decent product in the first place, yes--I'm dependent on them to do so. But I can't necessarily follow the government's guidelines under which these seats are designed; ergo, I'm back to putting faith in my abilities to research properly and buy the right product.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I'm not content with the current standards, but I think modernizing them is far better than eliminating them.</font>
On a theoretical level, I'm right with you on this. I just don't have faith in particular that the government standards *can* be modernized in any efficient or effective way. I go back to the FAA and the three year cycle for approving bars for cockpit doors--if that's the best Uncle Sugar can do, then maybe he should just stay out and let others in the marketplace establish the standards.

The insurance industry would be a fine place to start. They have a direct and selfish interest in protecting my child, just like I do. If they fail, they lose money directly. (Crass, but true--it's what runs the insurance industry.) But if Uncle Sugar's Department of Keeping Your Child Alive creates unsafe guidelines, do those people go to jail? Do they lose their jobs? No. Hmmmm.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Some people like to ride on a motorcycle without a helmet, weaving in and out of traffic between lanes. How far do you go?</font>
That's actually an *excellent* question. Put into perspective, it should be like this: if they're going to stick their fingers into this pie, they need to go all the way and not be concerned about political pressure from car seat makers. But that won't happen, no doubt. So it should be like this: if they can't commit to establishing firm and effective guidelines, irrespective of the wishes of the car seat makers, and if they can't commit to ongoing research and updating of those guidelines, then they should just stay out of it.

It comes down to, "either do the job 100% right or don't do it at all".

I still say it's odd for the NHTSA to say "it meets our guidelines, but for God's sake don't use it".
 

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The problem with trusting yourself is that the vast majority of people don't care as much as you do. Plus, visual inspection can't reveal safety flaws like a test can. Even though the governments tests don't go far enough, they DO insure that carseats are safe in a frontal crash with the typical dummies. That does cover many typical crashes and typical weight ranges. I claim with no regulation, you'd find a lot more questionable products and people will eagerly snap them up because they don't bother to research anything.


Government standards are being modernized all the time, and have evolved considerably even in the last 20 years. They are still way behind, obviously. I do disagree with your comment that the government guidelines are unsafe. I think they are very effective at testing exactly what they are designed to test, and I think this testing has raised the bar on safety over the years. If anything, more tests are needed to prevent shield boosters from getting through the cracks. A rollover or ejection test would have prevented that. With no laws at all, I guarantee you'd see many more seats failing in frontal impacts, too. I'm content for the NHTSA to do as much as they possible can with budget constraints, even if it isn't 100% effective. Otherwise, you'd be posting dozens of stories about lawsuits and recalls.
Remember that testing prevents these seats from being on the market in the first place. If you depend on insurance companies, then you are depending on actuarial statistics which can take time to compile. And while they're compiling, many seats will be going into cars that haven't passed any regulations. Why wait for the lawsuits to begin, when you can catch many flaws even with an incomplete testing system?


I think it's a testament to the NHTSA that we haven't seen dozens of lawsuits spanning many different models.
 

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One thing that bears mentioning here is the fact that many people buy seats based on what they can afford -- not everyone is able to afford the very best. Willing and able are two different things. The judgement can't be made that all people who spend less are less concerned with their kid's safety. I think the people who *really* don't care don't use any car seats. It is incumbent on the manufacturers to make an effective *and* affordable seat -- safety and affordability shouldn't be mutually exclusive. Peddling unsafe products while making a huge profit just shouldn't be tolerated especially in the car seat biz. I don't necessarily think that something has to cost more to be effective either. The ody is a good example of that. The snob appeal of high end goods plays on the consumer's notion that expensive = better. While I am thankfully able to buy pretty much any seat, should I have to spend hundreds of dollars (twice) to protect my kids in the car. And are people who can't just out of luck? It would be good to see the cost spread diminish and the quality/safety stepped up by the manufacturers.
Caviller's comments are right on -- more info is better. Without testing info it would be nearly impossible to make good choices. Sense is not common and no matter how smart you are, there are things you can't see and know without the benfit of test data. Personally, I'm glad to have both government and independent standards to go by. Without them, I may be still driving a Previa which was deemed very unsafe. I don't mind the government getting involved to the extent their efforts benefit my children's safety. You can't however legislate responsibility and you obviously can't rely solely on the manufacturers.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">One thing that bears mentioning here is the fact that many people buy seats based on what they can afford -- not everyone is able to afford the very best. </font>
1) There are government programs to address exactly this issue. If you can't afford a good seat, plenty of social service agencies are ready to help. They're right there at the hospital, ready to take care of those needs from day 1.

2) When you say "can't afford", what is often the case is not that they "can't afford" but that they "don't want to afford". Don't tell me you can't give up 3 cartons of smokes, for example, to get a great car seat for your child. At the point where you're evaluating your priorities and the car seat comes anywhere other than number 1 or in any category other than "essential," you're being irresponsible to the extreme.

No, "can't afford the best"--or "can't afford a good one, has to use the $20 one"--simply isn't the case 99.9% of the time.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Caviller's comments are right on -- more info is better. Without testing info it would be nearly impossible to make good choices. Sense is not common </font>
Sure it is. People do have common sense--and if they're allowed to use it, they will. But if they're being told by Uncle Sugar "oh, don't worry about it, you don't have to think about it, we'll take care of that thinking for you, just follow what we say," then all bets are off.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">You can't however legislate responsibility and you obviously can't rely solely on the manufacturers. </font>
If what you're saying is that you can't rely solely on others such as government and manufacturers, I agree.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">1) There are government programs to address exactly this issue. If you can't afford a good seat, plenty of social service agencies are ready to help. They're right there at the hospital, ready to take care of those needs from day 1.</font>
Is it then ironic that most agencies who distribute seats for free or reduced costs often buy the least expensive models? Cosco Tourivas are popular with most agencies here, and the buyers are often experienced technician instructors. While short on features, this model actually did fairly well in Consumer Reports and NHTSA compliance tests. I even bought 3 of them myself for giveaways when they were on sale for $29.99 at Kmart. On the other hand, I've never seen any Britax models being given away at hospitals, Safekids, or other agencies.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Sure it is. People do have common sense--and if they're allowed to use it, they will. But if they're being told by Uncle Sugar "oh, don't worry about it, you don't have to think about it, we'll take care of that thinking for you, just follow what we say," then all bets are off.</font>


I don't think Uncle Sam is saying this at all, though some people infer it.

The auto analogy is a good one. I don't think most people believe that all cars are equally safe because they passed minimum requirements. Those who care look into the safety ratings, read all the reviews and make sure to take extensive test drives. Those who don't may buy the one with the biggest engine, or best shade of purple or whatever...

I feel the same is true of carseats. Some may indeed be somewhat safer than others, and some certainly have more features which make them easier to use. Existing tests only make sure that they are safe in the most common type of crash with average size children. The problem is that price is not necessarily a good indicator of safety, though it is often a good indicator of features.

[This message has been edited by caviller (edited 10-07-2001).]
 
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This is spooky--I remember having this type of seat when I was little. I was even in the front seat of my dad's Nissan truck too! (of course, this was before car seat safety was such a big issue).

Wow, times sure have changed.

Michelle

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Discussion Starter #17
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">This is spooky--I remember having this type of seat when I was little. I was even in the front seat of my dad's Nissan truck too! (of course, this was before car seat safety was such a big issue).</font>
No, it was a big issue 12-13 years ago. And we all knew back then not to put kids in the front seats, even if it meant you couldn't put them in your pickup truck. The only difference back then was that airbags weren't common because they weren't required. There were, however, those stupid automatic seat belts.
 

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Adam 1991:

Once again, we are not on the same page.

[/QUOTE]1) There are government programs to address exactly this issue. If you can't afford a good seat, plenty of social service agencies are ready to help. They're right there at the hospital, ready to take care of those needs from day 1. [/QUOTE]

Caviller already addressed the irony in this comment. I will say only that I was not referring to myself.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">2) When you say "can't afford", what is often the case is not that they "can't afford" but that they "don't want to afford". Don't tell me you can't give up 3 cartons of smokes, for example, to get a great car seat for your child. At the point where you're evaluating your priorities and the car seat comes anywhere other than number 1 or in any category other than "essential," you're being irresponsible to the extreme.
I was referring to people who may be deciding between car seats and say food, clothing & rent... not "3 cartons of smokes." Where did that come from?

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">No, "can't afford the best"--or "can't afford a good one, has to use the $20 one"--simply isn't the case 99.9% of the time.
I never mentioned a $20 car seat. I was basically referring to the typical ($40-100) car seats vs. the atypical ($100-400) seats. And the emphasis on my comments was intended to be that safe car seats should be affordable for everyone.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Sure it is. People do have common sense--and if they're allowed to use it, they will.
Like the woman whose 2 year old died in the Cosco suit? According to the article she was not even wearing a seat belt herself. This is the kind of poverty of common sense I was referencing.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> If what you're saying is that you can't rely solely on others such as government and manufacturers, I agree.
What I was saying is;
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">You can't however legislate responsibility and you obviously can't rely solely on the manufacturers.
I'm not trying to flame anyone here, but I'm sensing a little harshness bordering on condescension. All I was trying to say is car seats should be affordable period. I would not presume to judge anyone's car seat choices critically. I think it entirely possible that many people just don't consider and understand the significance. I wouldn't imply that someone doesn't care about their child if they don't spend hundreds of dollars on a car seat any more than I would criticize you for driving a van that I (and the IIHS) regard as unsafe. It simply isn't my place... This is just supposed to be a place to share (give *and* get) info in a casual, friendly way. While I appreciate being passionate about issues of importance I think intensity should be checked at the log-in box. No offense intended.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I was referring to people who may be deciding between car seats and say food, clothing & rent... not "3 cartons of smokes." Where did that come from? </font>
THOSE are the people the social service agencies are there to help. No question. Those people will not be without a car seat.

It's the others who make the "smokes vs. car seat" decision who are, quite frankly, losers.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I never mentioned a $20 car seat.</font>
Did you forget? That was the beginning of this thread. *I* mentioned it--the $20 car seat that's dangerous and not recommended, and is the center of more than a few similar lawsuits, despite "meeting federal guidelines".

But it's only $20. And I stand by my opinion that most people buy on price. They know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Sure it is. People do have common sense--and if they're allowed to use it, they will.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Like the woman whose 2 year old died in the Cosco suit?
</font>
There's no doubt that the car seat in question was on the shelves purely because (a) it "met federal guidelines" and (b) it met the price point of people who buy on price. But since it met federal guidelines, there's no question that the buyers stopped right there and didn't bother to ask further questions.

And that's dangerous. The moment you legislate such guidelines, you give Uncle Sugar a load of responsibility that he's not ready for. Uncle Sugar needs to understand that people have been conditionrd--by Uncle himself--to do what the gummint sez. Gummint sets car seat guidelines? Can't put a car seat on the market without meeting those guidelines? Then de facto if it's on the market, it must be safe. THAT'S the leap that Uncle Sugar has conditioned people to take. But when Uncle Sugar screws up on his recommendations and people get killed, well....too bad. But a child is still dead.

Unless people can understand that life isn't about the government and Uncle Sugar making decisions for them, they're bound to be disappointed. But Uncle Sugar has spent a lot of time convincing people that his way is the best way, the safe way...

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I'm not trying to flame anyone here, but I'm sensing a little harshness bordering on condescension.</font>
People are allowed to be stupid, but for Uncle Sugar to lead them down that path is horrendous. And stupidity is a car seat that "meets federal guidelines" on the one hand--and is why it's on the market for people to buy and have their kids killed in--but "is not recommended by the federal agency that creates and monitors compliance with the federal guidelines" on the other hand, so that Uncle Sugar can wash his hands of the responsibility.

Lesson: yet again, we see that big government isn't the single answer, as much as people have been condition to believe that.


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">All I was trying to say is car seats should be affordable period.</font>
Sure. What's "affordable"? And what price does the parent pay who sees the least expensive one and is convinced that it's the "value" in car seats--and it MUST be safe, right, otherwise Uncle Sugar wouldn't allow it on the market? Here again is the mis-applied concept of value, being redefined as "cheapest".

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I would not presume to judge anyone's car seat choices critically.</font>
Why not? You are allowed to judge. You do so every day. You're doing so right now.

Remember, no car seat is a choice. How do you judge that? I see it every day. Or don't you judge that situation?

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">While I appreciate being passionate about issues of importance I think intensity should be checked at the log-in box.</font>
Sorry. Intensity about a subject is what makes the world go round. Intensity doesn't equate to unfriendliness; if you see me as unfriendly, that's your perception. I'm not here to be unfriendly. I *am* here to express opinions, and I hold some of them more strongly than I hold others. When I hold an opinion strongly, and when you ask for it, you'll get it--strength and all.

And yes, I judge people. So do you. So does everyone. And I judge people who buy car seats *strictly* on price as being irresponsible, led on by Uncle Sugar who throws a security blanket over that decision--even though it's the wrong decision and even a small bit of research would show that.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> There's no doubt that the car seat in question was on the shelves
purely because (a) it "met federal guidelines" and (b) it met the
price point of people who buy on price. But since it met federal
guidelines, there's no question that the buyers stopped right there
and didn't bother to ask further questions.
</font>

Plenty of people also buy this model because it is convenient. No harnesses to buckle, no strap height to adjust, no twisty straps and no adjustments to fiddle with when your kid wears a winter coat. It's also very light, and relatively easy to install with a seatbelt. I know others that like it because it has that strong, padded bar to protect their child, and not just those "flimsy" straps. The funny thing is, whenever I discuss this model with friends or parents at carseat checks, I haven't once heard anyone say they bought it because it met government requirements or because it was cheap. I'll grant that most buyers probably DO buy it because it is cheap, but I doubt many pay much attention to government labels, given the other features which make this model attractive to those who feel they can judge a carseat effectively by a visual inspection.
Some of these are personal friends with a variety of degrees and other letters in their title, large disposable incomes and even one that is an automotive engineer. Common sense isn't universal, and is sometimes misleading. It's also interesting to note that carseat misuse rates are pretty consistent among all demographics, including those for education level and income.
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">THAT'S the leap that Uncle Sugar has conditioned people to take. But
when Uncle Sugar screws up on his recommendations and people get
killed, well....too bad. But a child is still dead.

Unless people can understand that life isn't about the government and
Uncle Sugar making decisions for them, they're bound to be
disappointed.</font>
Actually, I don't think the government has made a decision for anyone. I do think they have removed the possibility of many more BAD DECISIONS being made by preventing seats from being on the market which don't pass the minimum requirements. One child dead IS too many, but the the fact is that with better cars, carseats and increased use rates, deaths have dropped considerably over the years. I credit the government for all three areas. Car crashes are still the #1 cause of deaths for kids age 1-14, so there's a lot more work to be done.

[This message has been edited by caviller (edited 10-09-2001).]
 
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