Category Archives: Tips

Happy National Child Safety Week!

Read what our Car Seat Expert, Daniella Brown, recommends to parents, including selection, location, fit and more. Don’t forget to tune in to our Facebook Q&A Thursday, September 21 at 7 P.M. EST to ask all your child passenger safety and MESA questions. We’ll be giving all active participants the chance to win a MESA!

How do I select a car seat?

All car seats on the market are safe otherwise manufacturers couldn’t put their seats on the shelves at retail.  They all follow the same safety standards created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  There are some car seats on the market that have additional safety features so after doing your research, these features may be of importance to you.

When selecting a car seat, it is important to find one that best fits your budget, your vehicle and your family needs.  Most retailers nationwide will allow you to try to install car seats in your vehicle prior to purchase.  This is such a great advantage when you are making such a critical decision.  When installing, it is important to select a model that gives you the confidence that you’re installing it correctly every time either with LATCH or seat belt.  Each vehicle and each car seat are different which is why doing this exercise will help.  When you are reviewing your car seats through hands-on experience, make sure you understand all the features and that they are easy for you to use.  Always have your vehicle owner’s manual and the car seat manual on hand, so you can install the car seat correctly and achieve no less than one inch movement in the cross-car direction.

Rear-Facing vs. Forward-Facing

I am sure as a mom, caregiver or Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST), you are aware that there is a big push to leave children in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible.  In an effort to increase this awareness, many manufacturers have increased the weight limits on their car seats when they are in the rear-facing mode.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) stresses that children should stay rear-facing until a minimum of 2 years old or when they meet the height and weight requirements of their car seat in that mode.

Why is that, you may ask?  It’s because a child’s head is so heavy that the rest of their body hasn’t caught up to its weight and size proportionally.  If you turn them forward too soon, with their head being so heavy and their neck and spine still under development, they are likely to possibly snap their necks and long-term damage could occur.  If a child is restrained in a car seat facing forward and then their car seat is restrained to the vehicle seat, the only object moving forward in a crash situation freely is their head.

Some additional information to note:  From an installation standpoint, if a child is rear-facing, their harness should be at or below their shoulders.  If a child is forward-facing, their harness should be at or above their shoulders.

 Location, Location, Location

I get asked this question quite a bit….what is the best location for me to install my car seat?  It is all about what works best for your car seat, your vehicle and your family to ensure you get the tightest install every time.

The standard used to be center is best, but many times it is hard to get a tight install with the seat belt if LATCH is not available.  There are other possible installation concerns. For example, if there is a bump there or perhaps not a big enough surface for the car seat to sit on, it’s hard to get that tight install.  In the UPPAbaby MESA’s case, we don’t allow the front vehicle seat to touch any portion of our seat so it can react properly in a crash situation.  If there is a tall driver operating the vehicle, that center seating location may not work based on where that front vehicle seat is relative to the MESA.  It may also come down to the parent’s preference.  It could be hard for mom to lift the weight of the baby plus the car seat all the way over to that center seating location.

Many retailers allow you to install a car seat to see if it works with your vehicle.  This is a great opportunity because every vehicle is different and there are many things that can affect install like cloth or leather material, the size of the seating surface, or the location of the buckles and lower anchors to name a few.

Lastly, you need to consider who is also traveling with you in your vehicle.  Is there another child in a car seat?  Is there a grandparent or other occupants? If there is another child in a car seat, you want to make sure that the car seats are not on top of one another and are not affecting the installation. Every car seat should have no more than one inch movement in the cross-car direction.  If there are other occupants, please make sure they buckle up because they can be projectiles in an accident as well.

Should every occupant always buckle up? 

The front vehicle seat will not stop a moving body in a crash.  By buckling up, the risk of injury decreases for every occupant.   Through means of buckling up, all occupants can take advantage of the vehicles safety components in an effort to decrease injury during a crash situation.  Leading by example for our children is also an important factor to consider.  Please always buckle up!

How do I properly fit my child in a car seat?

The first step you should always do before attempting installation or placing your child in their car seat is to read the car seat and vehicle owner’s manual.  You need to become well versed in the safety features of your vehicle, what type of seat belts you have, where your LATCH locations are in your vehicle and how your car seat manufacturer instructs you to install your child and your car seat.

When a child is placed in a rear facing seat, their harness must be at or below their shoulders.  For older children in a forward facing harnessed seat, the harness should be at or above their shoulders.  In all cases, the chest clip (also known as a retainer clip) should be at armpit level and the harness should be snug so that it cannot be pinched at the shoulder location.

A few additional items to point out when installing your child in the MESA are:

  • If you are putting a preemie in the MESA, the harness pads will have to be removed because you won’t be able to get the retainer clip at armpit level and you will not be able to pull the harness tight enough to secure your child properly.
  • Our infant insert is a tool for properly positioning your child relative to the harness. We provide a recommended weight, not a required weight of 4 to 8 lbs.  If your child is sitting on top of the buckle or the harness is cutting into their thighs, these are indications they no longer need the infant insert.

 

Written by Daniella Brown, UPPAbaby Car Seat Expert. For more questions, feel free to email carseat@uppababy.com directly.

Opening G-LUXE and G-LITE Strollers

The G-LUXE and G-LITE strollers only require a few steps to open them before you’re ready to stroll.  Just follow the steps below.

  • Release the lock latch on the left side of the stroller frame
  • Let the front wheels fall to the ground
  • Push down on the black foot pedal with your foot while pulling up on the handlebars
  • Make sure both sides of the frame “click” so you know the stroller is locked open

To see how the stroller is opened, check out this video.

Henry MESA in summer? We say heck yeah!

Finally our days here on the East Coast are gradually getting warmer(woo hoo).  I have been asked numerous times at our Tune-UP Gear-UP®  events if the new Henry MESA, made of Merino wool, would be extra hot for a child. Well, I can give you a wholehearted heck no!

Aside from being the first and only car seat to pass federal safety standards without the use of fire retardant chemicals, the naturally flame resistant Merino wool is soft to the touch. The Henry MESA‘s Merino wool blend has wicking properties that keep babies cool on hot days and warm on cool days. Fun fact, the Bedouin tribes in the Middle Eastern deserts wear wool, plus this natural fiber is biodegradable!

 

UPPAbaby Service Center in NYC

We are excited to announce that we have a new UPPAbaby service center opening in New York City on May 5th.  The service center will be located at buybuy Baby at 270 7th Ave, between 25th and 26th street.

At the service center you will be able to:

  • Schedule a tune up for your stroller
  • Ask questions about washing fabrics
  • Ask about maintaining your stroller
  • Get product and accessory demonstrations
  • Have minor repairs done

You can schedule an appointment to have your stroller looked at here: https://calendly.com/uppababyservicecenter  or drop in during the service center’s operating hours.  If you drop in, please allow at least 30 minutes for any tune ups and repairs. Most repairs are complimentary and no charge to bring in your stroller for review and tune-up.

Hours

Tuesday 3:00pm – 8:00pm
Wednesday 3:00pm – 8:00pm
Thursday 11:00am – 4:00pm
Friday 2:00pm – 7:00pm
Saturday 12:00pm – 5:00pm

Folding the 2014-Earlier VISTA

If you’re ever having a hard time folding your 2014-earlier model VISTA stroller, there are a couple of things to check on your stroller.  Follow the steps below to troubleshoot folding your stroller.

  • Make sure the button at the top of the handlebar will squeeze in and the handlebar can slide up and down.
  • Check that the black plastic tab and silver pin on the left side of the frame are not visually damaged.
  • Squeeze the handlebar height adjustment button and the black plastic tab at the same time, push the handlebar down into the frame of the stroller.  You’ll feel a little resistance, push a half an inch further, and then you’ll be able to fold the stroller in half.  Watch this video to see how to fold your stroller.

For the smoothest fold, once the stroller is folded in half, spray some lubricant around the spring loaded pins in the middle joint.  Check out this video to see how to lubricate the middle joint of your stroller.

Adjusting Harness Strap Height on the VISTA and CRUZ

During our recent Tune-UP Gear-UP®  events in California, we had a lot of question about adjusting the height of the shoulder harness straps on the VISTA and CRUZ.  Some customers thought the strap was supposed to be fed through the slits on the seat fabric.  However, inside each of those slits is a fabric loop that the harness adjustment clip attaches on to.

  • Decide which slit/loop is the proper height for your child (use the loop above your child’s shoulder line, or closet to your child’s shoulder line).
  • Remove the fabric loop from inside of the slit in the seat fabric.
  • Detach the grey attachment clip from the current loop.
  • Slide the grey attachment clip onto the new fabric loop.
  • Push the shoulder harness pad up over the grey attachment clip.
  • Tuck the fabric loop you are no longer using into the fabric slit.

You can also check out this video about the harness system to see how to adjust the height of your shoulder harness straps.

Fitting Your Infant in the MESA

Bringing your new baby home is a time filled with a lot of questions, whether or not your child is fitted properly in their MESA should not be one of them.  Check out this video about how to properly fit your little one in their MESA car seat.