Child Passenger Safety Week. Win a Car Seat!

We recently graduated Dude #2 from his booster seat.

He is 8.

Dude #3 has another 3 years before he can get out of his.  Unless he reaches 4’9 first (which is a possibility since at age 5 he is 4’1).

That’s the child safety seat law in the state of Maryland:

Children under 8 to ride in an appropriate child restraint, unless the child is 4’9″ or taller. Child restraint includes car seats and booster seats and other federally approved safety devices.


Because car crashes are the leading cause of death for children age 1 through 12 years old.  And, child safety seats save lives.

That’s what the U.S. Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Safety 1st need parents to know.  That using a car seat can save your child’s life. 

Even though your kids hate them, even though they are expensive, and annoyingly big, and take up a bunch of space in your car.

choosing a car seat

There was a point in our lives when we had three car seats in our car.  It’s the reason we purchased a larger vehicle; because fitting three car seats in the back seat of a Volkswagen Jetta just isn’t happening.  Not if you plan to drive it.  Or have an adult passenger with legs and a torso.  Uh-uh.

But, keeping The Dudes safe is worth the extra car payment, and more important than saving money on gas.  And, as far as I’m concerned, letting my kids ride around in the car unharnessed is like giving them a cigarette to smoke, or pouring them a shot of tequila on their 5th birthday: against the law and really, really stupid.

Probably that’s dramatic, but you get the picture.  I can reason out why some parents avoid vaccines.  I get why people homeschool.  But, there’s just nothing a grown adult can say to convince me that using a car seat is a bad idea.

You need to do it.  You just do.

Even on short trips, even when you think nothing can happen, even when you’re planning to drive slow.

Let me tell you a little story.

Once upon a time, not long ago, when people wore pajamas and lived life slow.

Okay, it was only like 5 years ago.  I was pregnant with #3 and #2 was two.  I was tired.  I was uncomfortable.  We were late for school and it was raining.  I threw #2 in the back seat of our car, handed him his sippy cup, and told him to just sit on his car seat because Mommy didn’t have time to buckle him.  We were just going to the bus stop to drop #1; he’d be fine.  And he was.  But then, when it was time to drive the TWO BLOCKS home, he slid off the seat to get a toy from the ground at the exact moment some stupid bunny ran across the street.  I hit the breaks (not hard, I was only going 15mph), and he fell forward in the car, hitting his mouth on the armrest between the seats.  Split his gums wide open.  So much blood.  And tears.  And regret.

Because all I had to do was take 2 seconds to buckle him up, and I didn’t.

I want you to.

That’s why this Child Passenger Safety Week I’m giving you the opportunity to win a car seat.

One winner will be given their choice of one of the following car seats from Safety 1st:

win a car seat

Elite 80 Air+ 3-in-1 Car Seat: The Elite 80 works in rear-facing mode for babies 5-40 pounds, then converts to forward-facing with harness, but features an extended weight range to keep children safely in harness all the way to 80 pounds.  In its 3rd mode, the Elite 80 goes beyond the traditional convertible seat to convert into a belt-positioning booster car seat for children up to 100 pounds.

Advance 70 Air + Convertible Car Seat: This convertible car seat was inspired by race car drivers.  Air Protect+ combines Safety 1st Air Protect® Technology with GCell HX™ – hexagonal rebounding foam used in the body of the car seat to protect the child from the multiple hits that occur in crashes. Coupled with this is the placement of Air Protect® Technology which takes crash forces away from a child’s head.  Rear facing for babies 5-40lbs, front facing up to 70lbs.

BoostAPak Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seat: The BoostAPak is designed to help keep kids in boosters longer, as it’s often hard to get an older child to stay in his or her booster seat. This booster seat also doubles as a backpack!  For children 4 to 7 years old.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. says

    I feel like I’m a car seat expert right now, as I’m researching them like crazy trying to find the best one for Luke to use in my truck. It was a no brainer for Jdaddy’s car because of size limitations, but I can be pickier with my truck.

    I would choose the Elite 80 if I won this giveaway. (Pick me, pick me!)

  2. Danielle landry says

    I would love to win any one of these car seats. My husband and I have recently started fostering to adopt two brothers who are the ages of 2 and 1. We are enjoying this ride as new parents and would love to win a carseat for them. Thank you for this giveaway. :)

  3. Jessica Snow says

    I was also wondering do you have an email to follow the blog so I don’t miss out on great posts!
    Thanks again! =)

  4. Lyns says

    I would choose 1 or 2. I’ve got two in carseats and one in a booster. We could really use another carseat for my husbands vehicle.

  5. Victoria Carlson says

    I would choose the Elite 80 Air+ 3-in-1 Car Seat because I love that it converts as the child grows!

  6. says

    I like #3. My oldest is 8, but he’s small for his age and will probably be in a booster seat for awhile longer. He doesn’t like his old one though because he thinks it’s too “babyish”

  7. Rebecca Orr says

    A safe carseat is hugely important to us! I really like the Elite 80 and all of it’s safety features. Thanks for the chance!

  8. Patricia says

    #2 is pretty, but I’d choose #1 because it also offers the booster option. I’m all about keeping the kiddo safe and buying multi-use products to reduce the amount of storage I need for outgrown baby gear (on the chance that we add to our family later). Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  9. shannon smith says

    This is so important, nothing bothers me more then a kid not in a seat, or not in one properly. were about to have our second little one so this would be perfect for us!

  10. Margaret says

    Great informative post. I would love any of them. My girl is just a bit younger than #3 but is the opposite of him, she’s just finally hitting 31 lbs. I left her rear facing til 4 yrs old per European studies. She was just fine. Thanks for doing a sponsored giveaway post! My fingers are crossed.

  11. Paige says

    We just transitioned to a fullback booster with 5 point harness. My son is 6, but he is small so I’m not ready for the full on booster seat yet, he is though.

  12. Elizabeth says

    i would choose #2 the advance 70 convertible for my 3 year old son who is having his 3rd major surgery soon and needs a new seat :)

  13. Sara b says

    Thanks for your confession! It’s nice to be reminded that we are all human and make mistakes and that we learn from them.

  14. kijjet says

    Great post with tons of information! I can’t decided if I’d want the Elite 80 Air or the Advance 70 Air! I’ve had some serious bad luck with car seats. My car is horribly hard to install a car seat in correctly. And the Graco MySize 70 seat that we were actually able to install, my son figured out how to open the chest clip on at 18 MONTHS! So, that seat is being sent back to Graco and while I wait for my refund, I’m using a less then great car seat. :( So I would LOVE to win this!! But I’d probably have to go do a bunch of research and test installs at Toys’R’us before I could figure out which seat would work for us!

  15. Mandi says

    What a great post! We are actually moving my son from his infant seat to a convertible now… they grow so fast! I would love to win #1 or #2. They both look fabulous!!!

  16. says

    I’m in love with that BoostAPak! I have to admit this is something I am very judgmental about — the use of a seat with a child who clearly needs to be in a car seat or booster. I have a story too, but thankfully it involves no bloody gums. I was at the grocery store and there was a car beside me with a mother and small child, maybe 3. Maybe. As I loaded in my groceries I noticed there was no car seat. I also noticed that the child was hanging out the window and the driver was about to pull off. Oh, talk about anger. I was so ANGRY at her. I ran to her window and asked if she had a seat. She rolled her eyes and damn near ran over my toes. I told her I had an extra one, it was hers if she’d just strap her kid in it. “I’m a safe driver” she said. “I’m sure you are. It’s not you you should ever be worried about. It’s all the other drivers.” I gave her the seat, she still acted like it was too much work to buckle the child in; I did it for her.

    Whenever I get that thought that I’m just going a few blocks or we’re just in the parking lot, I just need to ride to the other end, I remember it’s not my life to risk. Anything can happen. I don’t want to find out what. That story happened about 8 years ago. To this day, two more kids later, I still have extra car seats either in my car or in my basement. I know after a couple years they aren’t useful to pass on (upgrades, etc.) but I can’t seem to get rid of them.

  17. Atira says

    We’ve just started researching forward facing car seats for our 10 month old. I like the features of #2. Thanks for being a blessing to someone!

  18. Liz says

    I have a 14 month old in an infant car seat due to him only weighing 18lbs. I am looking to get a new 5 point harness seat to switch him to. I love number two!

  19. Nicole says

    So so soooo important!! I am a vigilant car-seater and I still read every good article I see.
    Thank you for the post!