Proper Use Of Your Convertible Car Seat And Things To Avoid

One right of passage for new parents that can often make them lose sleep is buying a new car seat. I remember the stress and anxiety that would build up trying to find just the perfect convertible seat that gave the ultimate safety for our child. It also had to be comfortable and easy to use. This is something that we were going to use for many years to come so we had to get it right. We are both careful drivers but this experience has probably made us overly cautious. A child restraint seat is one of the first big purchases you will make so it is good to know what to avoid.

One thing that we didn’t foresee as we were combing through countless convertible car seat reviews was how this was just the first step to ensuring their safety. Once we picked a seat we were happy with we then had to learn how to use it correctly. Making sure that our child fit just right and that the seat was securely fastened to our vehicle required a little bit of a learning curve. Over time it became routine, but this is something that every parent should be prepared for when shopping for a new safety seat.

Getting Expert Help

Reading the car seat manual and adhering to its recommendations is vital. However experts advise parents to also read what the car maker says about car seat installation. One should make a point of following the two sets of guidelines. The same applies when moving the seat to another family car, since every car is different. It is therefore critical to make installation adjustments when a switch is made to ensure safety is maintained. Getting an expert second opinion from a certified technician is also a smart idea. Local firehouses and police stations routinely have car seat inspection events throughout the year which can help you get a better grasp on how to install the convertible seat correctly.

Making Sure All Straps Are Snug

If the car seat has no harness, kids need to wear seat belts fitted properly for protection. If the child is using a seat belt, with or without a booster seat, the belt lap section must rest low on the hips, not across the stomach or legs. The upper section should be across the chest, resting upon the body shoulder rather than on the neck. It should also not be put under the armpit. All children weighing between 40 and 80 pounds and are over 4 feet and nine inches tall require a booster seat to ensure the car seat belt fits properly. Also, it is advised that children below 13 years should not sit in the front seat.

Keep Rear-Facing As Long As Possible

Turning the child in order to see their faces using the rear-view mirror may seem convenient to the driving parent-but there are safety reasons to delay this.Experts recommend that kids should face the rear until they are two years old. This is due to the anatomical growth of the child. The vertebrae of children only fuse together only when they are aged between 4 and 6 years old. Therefore the impact of a frontal crash can severely damage the spine of a young child. In addition, if the child sits near the seat in front, they can hit it hard enough to cause serious damage to their legs, feet or even their brain. Facing the rear is a lot safer during all kinds of collisions. Most car seat manuals provide appropriate guidance on this. Some car seats can securely hold a larger toddler facing the rear.

Securely Fasten Everything

While it is inconvenient to keep loosening and tightening straps when kids get in and out of vehicles, the hassle is worth the effort to avoid them flying out in case of a crash. To ensure a proper and tight fit, the parent can do the pinch test. This is where after tightening the harness snugly, the parent can use his or her index finger and thumb to lightly grab the harness at the child’s collar bone, without digging too deep. Also ensure the harness chest clip is not too tight since this may lead to discomfort and red marks on the child’s skin.The chest clip should be slid up so it becomes level with the armpits.

Making Adjustments Over Time

Generally, safety seats are designed to fit a range of different ages. Therefore as the child grows, adjustments need to be made. An example is adjusting the shoulder straps for the forward facing kid. Parents should ensure that shoulder straps begin on the child’s shoulder, not below. Seats come with several different strap slots hence parents should ensure they adjust them upwards to match the child’s growth. Once the child’s shoulder is over the highest slot a new seat must be installed.

Getting The Right Seat

Whereas car seats come with age guidelines, the weight and height of a child is more important when choosing which one to install. There is a car seat finder tool on the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) website that can help a parent calculate the best seat for a child’s size.

Getting a Used Seat

Using old seats may be cost-efficient but may lead to safety concerns. Before installing a used car seat, one should ponder over several issues. This includes asking whether the car had been involved in a crash or if it is on a recall list. Older seats may be compromised since they may have been damaged in a car crash. The seat must not be over five years old since plastic weakens with age.


You obviously know how big of a deal getting a quality seat is, but knowing how to use it is just as important. Reducing the risk of injury by making the seat is used correctly will help put your mind at a little more ease and let you focus on getting to your destination without distraction. With a little practice and study, you will be an expert in no time.

How Parents Can Benefit From More Kale

It is tough work chasing around and taking care of a baby all day. Finding the time to eat right, or at all, is a huge challenge for a lot of parents but it is something not to neglect. A proper diet can improve concentration, reduce stress, and give you the energy you need to keep up with the endless fury of a child. Fruits and vegetables can play a major role in stabilizing your eating habits and give you the boost that you need throughout the day.

Kale may not be something that you ever thought of as appetizing, but leafy green vegetables are a terrific addition to your daily routine that can have a beneficial impact on your well being. Here are just a few of the ways that your body can improve with regular higher consumption of this veggie.

Green Potential

If you add kale in whole form or in juice form to your diet, then you may experience a wide array of great benefits. Just make sure that you eat as much as you juice. Cleanses may sound appealing and something you may want try for the new year, but a juice cleanse has its drawbacks. Stay balanced and you may experience some improvement in the areas below.

Brain Health

Kale contains Omega 3 which slows down brain cell damage as a result from high blood sugar levels in diabetics and people who are obese.

Bone Health

This miracle ingredient is also an excellent source of calcium and is great for strengthening your bones and keeping them healthy. Kale juice is a great option for people who are lactose intolerant.


Kale’s leafy green leaves will help drastically improve cholesterol levels, and it is most effective when combined with green apples, lemon and parley. The lemon can increase the rate of nutritional absorption by five times.


Kale contains indole-3-carbinol which significantly boosts DNA health while lowering the growth rate of cancer cells. For an anti-cancer kale juice, add parsley, cucumber, celery, apples and a lemon slice along with kale.


The high amount of chlorophyll found in kale will significantly improve the body’s hemoglobin levels. Kale juice is the best natural option for people who are anemic.


You can find isothiocyanates in kale, which helps regulate the body’s detoxification processes. By regularly drinking kale juice, your body will detoxify much quicker and at a deeper level.


Kale is one of the few vegetables that actually contains plenty of protein, and this protein is much healthier than meat protein. This is a great vegetable to add to a vegetarian’s diet.


The high amount of alkaline in kale juice, along with vitamin K will improve blood flow and circulation, drastically reducing chronic inflammation in patients. It is also a great natural treatment for high blood pressure.


Certain carotenoids (lutein and zeaxathin) can be found in kale, which are necessary for shielding our eyes against harmful UV rays. These highly concentrated ingredients will defend the retina against free radicals.


This vegetable contains calcium, vitamins A, C and K, as well as phytonutrients which are crucial nutrients for optimal skin health. Kale is also a rich source of lutein and beta-carotene, which improve the skin’s elasticity, health and firmness.

Weight Loss

You can truly experience weight loss by drinking kale juice regularly. Drink kale juice with green apples and lemon juice in order to maximize the fat burning potential. Also, make sure you combine kale juice with plenty of regular exercise.

Simple Green Juicing

If you do not consider yourself a big salad fan then juicing your kale may be a more enjoyable way to take advantage of this leafy powerhouse of a vegetable. Throwing your greens into a juicer is a convenient and simple way to get the nutrition that you need. Kale juice is kind of potent straight up, this is why we recommend you mix it with other ingredients. It is great with green apples, carrots and lemons to create a great taste. You can find plenty of green juice recipe ideas to experiment with that not only taste great but will give you a super dose of vital nutrients that every parent can benefit from.

Although its juice can offer a plethora of excellent health benefits, if you have a history of gallbladder and kidney stones, then you should reduce your consumption of this vegetable. It contains minute amounts of oxalates, and some users may experience gas, intestinal discomfort or diarrhea after consumption. It is important to start with a low amount and steadily increase as your body grows accustomed to the kale juice.

Kale is great for people in walks of life, such as diabetics, people who are anemic and parents who are constantly run down at the end of the day. Just about anyone can experience the excellent benefits of kale, while remaining healthy and gaining nutrients. There is simply no room for failure with a plant like kale, and the benefits are truly endless.

What Parents Need To Know About Vacuum Cleaners

If you are like me then you are constantly worrying about the best ways to keep your children safe and protected. I may even go overboard and am probably a little too overprotective. This was probably the case when it came time for me to get a new vacuum cleaner. When it was time for our newborn to start crawling I got to think how close they were to all of the dust and allergens that were in the carpet and I started to research what I could do to remove it. Getting the right vacuum can make a world of difference. There are also certain precautions you should take as well.

What You Should Look For

The one thing that your new vacuum should have is a HEPA filter. This will remove most of the fine particles and keep them inside of the machine. It does not matter if you get an upright or a canister model, this will probably be the most important feature. For convenience you also want something that is easy to use. Bags can be a hassle which is why a lot of parents go with an upright. They are also easier to manuever around tight corners and will probably save your table and chair legs from scratches and dents.

Precautions For Your Babies

There is a slight risk that the dust that is kicked up and released by your vacuum may pose a risk to children. You should keep them out of the room until well after you are done to reduce this risk and let whatever dust may be floating in the air to settle.

You should also remember to keep your vacuum put away and out of reach of your kids. They are curious creatures that like to touch, pull, and climb on things and an upright machine can topple over and injure them. It is always hard to constantly keep an eye on them so keeping a heavy vacuum locked up is a good idea.

Which Type Should I Get?

For a lot of people, deciding on whether to buy an canister or an upright vacuum cleaner can be a little difficult, especially if it is the first time you are shopping for a new vacuum. It can be a little confusing trying to find a model that will be best for you. There is not one right answer for everyone as there are many factors that come into play.

  • What type of floors will you be cleaning?
  • Where to plan to store your vacuum? Is space tight?
  • Do you have pets that shed all over the place?
  • Do you have allergy concerns?
  • How much are you looking to spend?
  • How big of a house or apartment do you need to vacuum?
  • Do you have stairs that you need to clean?
  • What is your budget?

The answers to these questions can ultimately lead you to choose one type of vacuum cleaner over another. They both have their pro’s and con’s, but generally, they both can get the job done. So what are the differences between them?

Canister Vacuum Cleaners


Canister vacuums are smaller and able to get under furniture with greater ease. Vacuuming under beds, tables and chairs is usually less of a hassle. Most of the weight is based in the canister, which is on wheels, and the vacuum attachments are not that heavy. This makes cleaning stairs, or harder to reach places easier. A lot of people find that canister vacuums maneuver with less effort.

Retractable cords are another advantage as most of the newer models come with this as a standard feature. You do not have to waste time wrapping your cord around two hooks as is the case with most upright vacuums. A simple tap of a pedal or button on the canister and the cord gets sucked back into the machine. Very convenient.

Canisters are also typically smaller than uprights and take up less square footage to store. However, they can be a little cumbersome to get the hose and the upright attachments to stay upright and out of the way. Some people find that neither type of vacuum has a greater advantage over the other in this regard.

Canisters typically are better than uprights on hard surfaces floors such as wood and tile. With attachments they are also better to clean upholstery, drapes and furniture.


One of the biggest drawbacks of a canister vacuum is that you have to drag it behind while cleaning. It is hard to look at what your vacuuming while also keeping track of the canister behind you making sure that it does not bump into walls or furniture. It can also get hung up if you turn a corner in a hallway, putting a dent or ding in walls and baseboards.

Another knock that users have with canisters is the need to mess with vacuum bags. It is an added cost as well as a bit of a hassle to remove and install when compared to uprights.

Upright Vacuum Cleaners


Upright vacuums are generally thought to do a better job on carpets while having a little less success on harder surfaces. Having an adjustable roller brush that can be turned on or off can greatly improve hard floor performance however. They also have a wider path and can cover more ground.

Convenience is also a personal choice when it comes between uprights and canisters. While uprights may feel a little bit heavier to use since you are pushing the entire unit around, some folks like how they can just get the upright out of the closet, wheel it over and vacuum and then put it back as one unit. It may be a bit more bulky is some regards, but not having to drag the canister around is a big plus for upright owners.

Also pushing the unit in front of you, instead of dragging a canister behind you, enables the user to better control the vacuum and avoid putting minor dings or scratches in the walls or furniture. In this sense it is a lot easier to control.

A lot of today’s new models are also bagless, which saves on overall cost and time. Dirt and debris is collected into a dust cup whose contents can easily be dumped into the garbage. More bagless units today also have started incorporating HEPA filtration which is a big advantage for allergy sufferers.


Cleaning stairs, under furniture and getting into tight places are areas where uprights tend to struggle. Doing each individual step of a staircase can be a cumbersome chore. Cheaper uprights may not come with all the attachments that a canister might so cleaning drapes or upholstery is nearly impossible.

Unless you get a model that is able to fold almost flat, getting under tables and beds with a typical upright is not something that can easily be done.

Some folks also find that a tall and bulkier upright is not as convenient to store in a closet when compared to an canister vacuum. Like we stated earlier, this is more of a personal choice between the two when it comes to storing the vacuum as some people prefer uprights to canisters when it comes to putting the unit in closet and out of the way.

Bottom Line

Knowing the strong points and weakness of canisters and uprights can ultimately save you a lot of time, money and hassle. It all depends on which factors are most important to you and what type of home environment the vacuum will be operating in. Hopefully this will help make the decision a little bit less confusing and you can find the vacuum that is perfect for you.