While summer may mean long, sunny days, balmy breezes, and weekends at the beach, for most working parents it does not mark the end of the dreaded carpool line. School is out and kids are rowdy, rambunctious, and ready for summer camp! Spending the day outdoors, trips to the pool, arts and crafts, and a lot more free play are all fun and exciting activities school-age children look forward to all year. Toss in a family vacation and your schedule is set for a perfect summer season. Here to help ensure your families comfort and safety on all their summer adventures is the latest Diono car seat, the Just My Color radian rXT.

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From the summer camp carpool line to the cross-country trip to somewhere tropical, when traveling with kids’ car seat safety must be a priority. Parents so often fret because many children’s car seats are big, bulky, and difficult to maneuver around in the car. Whether you drive a sporty compact or a large SUV Diono is perfect for serving the safety needs of your family beginning at birth.

Car Seat Placement

One of the greatest challenges for many parents when it comes to vehicle safety is having multiple children in car seats at the same time. Even when the primary family vehicle is a large SUV there are still challenges when it comes to getting everyone safely seated inside. Throw in the school or summer camp carpool line and you have quite a conundrum. Not only do many schools and summer camps REQUIRE parents to utilize a drop-off line, the other option available to parents of multiple children of loading and unloading everyone at each drop-off site is even more stressful! Further, since the majority of public elementary schools (and summer camps) begin earlier than privately run pre-schools open, parents frequently have to take the younger children along with them to drop-off and pick-up the older ones.

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While the majority of cars, trucks, and SUV’s now come equipped with the LATCH system for the safest and simplest car seat installation usually this function is only available in the first row of back seating, or captain’s chairs. Although almost all SUV’s now provide a 3rd row seating option, the LATCH mechanism is NOT usually included in these seats. Trying to determine where to place each child in the car can become a difficult, logistical game for all parents, especially those with large families.

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As parents, it is easier for us to keep the younger children closer so we can get them properly latched into their car seats and out of the car. When driving long distances, it is also simpler for the parent in the passenger seat to provide necessary distractions such as books, drinks, and snacks when the children are seated closer.

This usually relegates the older children to the 3rd row of seating. As ideal as that may seem, the problem arises as infant seats and traditional convertible car seats for younger or smaller children frequently take up more space, especially when still rear-facing. Being unable to get past these big, bulky infant and toddler seats easily leaves older children having to climb over others to get in and out of the car which can cause unappreciated delays in the carpool line.

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Tried and true tips for tech-free entertainment in the car:

  • Books
  • Self-contained puzzles
  • Word searches, crossword puzzles, or Sudoku
  • Child-friendly playlist of Mom or Dad’s favorite songs
  • Hangman, tic-tac-toe, or I Spy for the older kids
  • Snack-packs & drinks in spill-proof containers

The Diono Just My Color radian rXT

As the mother of 4 boys ages 8 years to 3 months old driving a Suburban, getting in and out of the car with everyone, especially on school mornings has been a challenge until now. Perfect for all families, especially those with compact cars or multiple children is the Diono Just My Color radian rXT series convertible car seat. Providing unmatched safety with all-in-one simplicity, the Diono Just My Color radian rXT is the only car seat you will need from birth to booster for your quickly growing child.

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The Diono Just My Color radian rXT premium features include:
  • A full steel alloy frame, aluminum reinforced sidewalls, and energy absorbing EPS foam for additional side impact protection.
  • A reinforced, 12- position adjustable headrest for your child’s optimal safety and comfort.
  • A Safe-Stop energy absorbing 5-point harness.
  • 5 shoulder and 3 buckle adjustable positions to perfectly fit your growing child.
  • Memory foam cushioning to properly support your infants head and body.
  • A unique SuperLATCH system for easy installation and enhanced tether capabilities for both rear-facing and forward-facing seats.
  • A sleek, compact design fitting 3-across in most mid-size vehicles.
  • Expandable sides and longer seat bottom for proper leg support.
  • The low-profile design allows children to easily get in and out of the seat.
  • Superior rear-facing comfort for children from 5-45 pounds.
  • Continued 5-point harness safety for forward-facing children from 20-65 pounds.
  • Converts to a booster for children from 50-120 pounds, and up to 57” tall.

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Now available in a selection of cheery and bright new colors for summertime, your little one will love their Diono Just My Color radian rXT series! Available in navy/green, gray/navy, yellow/navy, cherry red, and navy/bronze, forget about your basic black car seat and put a pop of color in the car for your summer excursions.

The Law

Although car seat laws vary by state parents must first understand that laws and best practices are not always the same thing. Just because your state may not require (i.e. ticket or fine you) your child to remain rear-facing to the maximum weight limit of his car seat does not mean you should turn him around sooner. Further, simply because your child can legally ride in only a seat belt again does not mean she is really big (weight/height) enough for optimal safety. As adults, we all know car crashes can happen at any time…they are called accidents for a reason, thus being prepared when it comes to our children’s safety is mandatory.

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In the majority of states children are required to be secured in a car seat (child restraint system) until 4 years of age. Most states then suggest a booster seat until age 8 depending on the child’s weight/height. Infants are required to be rear-facing until 1 year old, however many states have recently changed their laws to continue requiring rear-facing placement until the child is 2 years of age or again meets certain weight/height specifications. As a parent, the best thing you can do is check your states local laws and ensure you are in compliance.

With best practices and the law not necessarily being the same thing parents should also make sure to follow the suggested use and size requirements of the car seat manufacturer. Many car seats are being engineered to allow children to remain rear-facing longer for the safest ride. Depending on the seat, your little one may have the option of forward-facing, but will still be safer if remaining rear-facing as long as possible.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping your toddlers in a rear-facing car seat until at least age 2, or until he exceeds the weight/height requirements for rear-facing in the seat. Recent studies have found that riding rear-facing is five times safer than forward-facing, and children under 2 years old are 75% less likely to die or be severely injured in a car accident if rear-facing.

Although for parents forward-facing your child’s seat sooner may be simpler, and for many of us result in a much more enjoyable ride, it is just not safe. When seated in a rear-facing car seat your child’s head, neck, and spine receive better support in the event of a car crash because the force of the collision is more evenly distributed over the entire body. The safest decision you can make as a parent is to keep your child rear-facing for as long as possible meaning until he meets the weight and height requirements of his seat.

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Whether your summer plans include daily jaunts through the carpool line or a cross-country car trip with the kids ensure everyone’s safety this year with Diono. From your littlest love to your soon-to-be-tween, make car seat placement and proper seating a priority. The Just My Color Diono radian rXT series is the safest, sleekest seating solution for your family this summer. The laid-back summer season should be safe and fun for both parents and children alike. Just as the long, sunny days will quickly fade to Fall your children will sprout and grow faster than you ever imagined. So, make the most of your summers together, make memories, enjoy each other’s companionship, and most of all stay safe.

For more tips and tricks on school pickup and drop-off check out our 10 Ways to Master the Carpool Line.

Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics, SafeRide4Kids.com

Photo Credits: Kristin dePaula

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