Car Seat Safety and the Britax Advocate ARB

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I was thrilled to be a part of a lunch event last week put on by the Nashville Mom Blog and Britax car seats. A group of mommy bloggers and a bunch of our little ones got to learn all about the new Britax Advocate ARB car seats and the best part—we got to take one home! I’ve loved Britax seats since we bought our first one back in 2011. Ali and Zay both ride in Britax seats and now Jo has a brand new one for her fancy self.

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I was not familiar with Britax’s ClickTight system. It’s a sleek alternative to using the LATCH system that a lot of vehicles and car seats have. The hooks are often difficult to reach and it’s hard to get the car seat really tight. The seat is not supposed to be able to shift more than a 1 inch in either direction (at the belt path) once it’s secured to the car. The ClickTight uses the vehicle’s seat belt and snaps down into the car seat base in 3 quick steps and it’s so super tight. (NEVER use the LATCH system AND your vehicle’s seat belt; one or the other.)

Apparently 95% of people think they’ve installed their car seats correctly but 3/4 of them are NOT correctly installed. Yikes. I have to admit that with 8 kids (including the 5 fostered short term) and more car seats than I can count, I learned some things I’ve been doing wrong during the demonstration with the Britax reps Kate and Kelly.

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The Britax Advocates we were given came with their new Anti-Rebound Bar (ARB). It’s very cool. It slides into the steel frame of the car seat for use when it’s rear-facing. The bar rests against your vehicle seat back. In the event of a collision the ARB reduced the rebound rotation (where the top of your car seat and your baby’s head could rotate toward the vehicle seat back) by 40 percent. It’s easy to install and easy to remove when it’s time to turn the car seat around for forward facing—which by the way is no sooner than 1 year old or 20 lbs., and it’s recommended that kids rear-face until 2 years old when their necks and spines are stronger. This car seat can be used in rear facing for babies 5-40 lbs. and forward facing for 20-65 lbs. and 49 inches tall. (For reference, my petite 5-year-old is still within the height and weight parameters for rear-facing!)

One common mistake that parents make with car seats is not tightening the belts enough. There should not be enough slack in the belts to pinch them once the child is buckled in. Britax has a solution for this common oversight: you pull the strap to tighten the harness until it clicks. It won’t over tighten! It really just clicks and stops tightening when it’s in the right position.

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Another common mistake is having the chest clip too low. It should always be at armpit height.

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For rear facing the shoulder straps should be at or below shoulder height of the child. For forward facing the shoulder straps should be at or above shoulder height. The tether at the back of the car seat is only for forward facing position.

Some other great features of the Britax Advocate: It’s really easy to raise and lower the headrest and shoulder strap by just squeezing a button and pulling it up or pushing it down. The cover, like all my other Britax car seats, is easy to remove and spot clean. (Washing machines can be too rough on the fabric and reduce it’s flame retardancy.) It has some great accessories like a cup holder and a seat guard for spills, diaper leaks, potty accidents, etc. Has anyone else ever had a child have a pee accident in a car seat… Oy! And one more great feature of this seat: it doesn’t expire for 10 years so Josephine will be able to use this seat until she outgrows car seats and maybe we’ll even get to use it for a future little sibling.

After hearing all about these fancy features while munching on wraps and cupcakes, we got to see it demonstrated in a vehicle and then we each got to take one with us. The lovely Britax reps watched us install the car seats, offered help if we needed, and made suggestions to make them as safe as possible for our little ones. All-in-all it was a neat opportunity and I’m really thankful to the Nashville Moms Blog and Britax for allowing me to participate.

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Kate reminding us to read the car seat manual AND your vehicle’s manual because all cars are different (and have different weight limits for their LATCH hooks, for example).

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Kelly urging us to register our products so we’re notified if there is ever a recall. Oops… I still haven’t done that.

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Some cute little ladies.

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Kate demonstrating how to tighten the harness to the point that it clicks. Isn’t that pretty neat how it won’t over-tighten?

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Kelly showing how the ClickTight works. The bottom of the seat lifts up and the vehicle seat belt is slid into the slots.

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After it’s buckled, pull out all the slack and snap the seat bottom back down. That’s it! And it’s unbelievably tight. (More about how ClickTight works here.)

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Princess JoJo heading home in her new throne!

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Britax has a sale going on right now called All About Baby Safety Event, up to 25% off.

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Sponsored by Britax.

 

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