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5 Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe in a Car Seat

5 Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe in a Car Seat

auto, FAM, GEAR, health By April 2, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Take a moment to consider this sobering thought – whether you’re driving around the corner or heading out on a road trip, accidents can happen at any time.

Results from safety checks across Canada reveal that between 30-80% of child car and booster seats inspected are installed incorrectly. Is yours one of them?
Fact: Car crashes are a leading cause of death and hospitalizations for Canadian children under the age of 14.

From using the wrong car seat at the wrong age, to relying on Dr. Google for instructions on proper car seat installation, parents are unknowingly making potentially deadly travel safety decisions.

Certified Car Seat Installation Technician and Parenting Expert Maureen Dennis is here to explain 5 Ways to Keep Your Kids Safe in a Car Seat:

1. Wrong Seat at the Wrong Age. A common mistake made by parents is not using the correct seat for the child’s height, weight, and developmental stage. This can usually be seen when parents move their child to the next stage too quickly (rushing to get them into a booster seat to accommodate a new baby when they still fit in their harnessed forward-facing seat, for example).

Solution: Know the guidelines of when to make a car seat adjustment and know your child’s height and weight.

2. Car seat not securely installed.  Another error often made is when attaching the car seat inside the car.  In many cases, the seat is too loosely installed and not tightly secured to the vehicle.

Solution: Your car seat should not move more than 2.5 cm (or 1 inch) in any direction at the base of the seat, right at the seat belt or UAS path.

3.  Harness on the child is too loose. How tight is too tight? A common mistake is leaving the harness too loose and not having your child secured properly.

Solution: Conduct the “pinch test”. You should not be able to pinch any of the harness webbing at the child’s shoulder.

4. Placing the chest clip. Another common mistake found is where parents place the chest clip.

Solution: The chest clip should always be at the armpit level – not too low, such as down near their belly button, or up too close- near the neck.

5. Improper placement.  Even if the car seat is installed and securely fastened, there are still errors that can occur which may harm your child.

Solution: Make sure that seats in a rear-facing position are at a 45 degree angle to support the baby’s head and neck. All forward-facing seats require a tether strap that hooks to a tether anchor in your car, so make sure you don’t forget that step.

Car seat safety cannot be taken lightly. It is important to install your car seat properly and securely in order for it to do its job in the event of a collision or crash. According to a report from the Canadian Paediatric Society, child seats, when used correctly, reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% and the risk of serious injury by 67%. Using a booster seat instead of just a seat belt alone is a reduction of 59% in injury risk.



Windsor Arms Hotel Toronto

Canada, ROAM By July 15, 2013 Tags: , , , , 2 Comments

I’m a sucker for older, stunning architecture. So as a student at the University of Toronto I would frequent Theatrebooks on St. Thomas St. and gaze longingly at Yorkville’s Windsor Arms Hotel. Later in life I would hang at the bar, hoping to gain nuggets of advice for career and stock market speculation. It’s that kind of place. But the artists, thinkers and socialites can’t be excluded. Not in a second. (The bar features original works by Charles Pachter).

This month I stayed at the hotel for the first time, and though they knew nothing of UrbanMommies Travel or my intention to do a story, they upgraded me. They said they just liked my name. Every room in the hotel includes a musical instrument – harp, guitar… and they have never had a noise complaint due to the music. On opening the door to the room I heard classical music playing on wired-in speakers throughout. It was so peaceful it made me need to have a bath.  Comfortable beds? I had to ask the housekeeping staff where they source their pillows.

There is a trendy tea room by the gorgeous Living Room Bar and I was so excited to see a rack adorned with vintage hats.  Patrons may ‘rent’ a hat for $10 and the proceeds go towards Dress for Success.  Brilliant.

A pet friendly space (under 35lbs), this will be one of the most opulent, elegant and luxurious stays you will ever have.  And you may learn a thing or two about music.  Because you’re not going to want to leave your room, even for the great Bloor St. shopping nearby.

The Windsor Arms Hotel


A Mommy Break at the Four Seasons Toronto

Canada, ROAM By January 30, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , No Comments

It’s so new, not even the cabbies now where this new sleek beast is located.  Once we found it, I simply bailed from the cab and walked.  Yorkville used to be my ‘hood’ and I missed the vibe.  I must admit that I was a bit intimidated in entering the lobby.  Where to go?  What are these ‘men in black’ doing?  Wow how I needed a mommy break at the Four Seasons Toronto.  But who doesn’t, really?

Checking-in made me feel like Kate Middleton.  The MontBlanc signing blotters didn’t hurt.  And the gentleman who excused my cellphone call and had my key waiting was so lovely.  He would never utter the room number for safety reasons and escorted me to the elevator showing me the # and indicating that I would be on the Xth floor.  #GoodJob

When a girl is in need of some TLC, rooms such as these cause a mixture of heart palpatations and weepiness. The bathtub was round and large.  I ran the water immediately and imagined myself looking out the window from the water.  The nespresso was next (though it took a while to finish my degree in engineering and figure it out).  Free wireless.  (Thank you.)  And the softest sheets and pillows you could ever imagine.  Sleeping on a cloud?  This is it.

My only complaint was trying to figure out a way to enjoy the room enough for one night.  Sleep?  Bathe?  Chill?  Wired-in music?  TV in the bathroom mirror?  You know… Stay for more than one.  And though I didn’t have kids in tow this time around, there are very few chains who treat children as well.  We have a few ideas for things to do with kids in Toronto.  And we also know a few great nanny services.. in case you just want to experience the softness of the sheets in silence. ; )


Kids’ Activities in Toronto

Canada, ROAM By May 3, 2010 Tags: , , , 1 Comment

Toronto Subway MapWhen it gets that cold in the winter, there’s no excuse for laziness during the good weather.  Toronto is Canada’s largest city, and has so many activities and special sights to offer for childrenKids in Toronto have lots to choose from.  You can pick any corner of the city and education and experiences will abound.  Here’s a fun list of stuff to do while you’re in the Big Smoke.