Car Seats

Whew! We made it to New Orleans with Sweet William’s 24-pound Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL Car Seat. Our trek became complicated due to tornado damage in Alabama, and while it wasn’t fun to transfer this moose of a seat from a taxi to a train to two rental cars, the peace of mind was worth the hassle.

Sweet William is a long baby who outgrew his infant seat when he was six months old. I chose the convertible Radian as his next seat for these reasons.

Rear-facing to 45 pounds: This seat has the highest rear-facing weight limit on the market. I’m in no rush for William to face forward, especially now that the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommend that babies remain rear-facing as long as possible, at least to 2 years old. Research shows that children under age 2 are 75% less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash if they face the rear.

Forward facing to 80 pounds and 53 inches: The NHTSA says a child should ride in his forward-facing harness seat until he reaches the seat’s top height or weight limit.

“Worst-case” crash tests: At its maximum capacities, the Radian remained structurally intact and its dummy remained safely retained.

All that structural steel is HEAVY, but once the seat is in the car, it’s easy to install. I fold it flat and use the backpack straps when I have to carry it.

Now, if only car seat manufacturers would use foams and fabrics containing fewer chemicals — then I’d really be happy.

Click here and here for car seat tips and reviews.

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