Who knew that the school car rider line would instill such a sense of anxiety in my bones! Honestly, for those of you who have been there maybe you can relate. First, you need to prepare to either wake up at the crack of dawn or be faced with a crazy line that weaves in and out of traffic and around the school parking lot. Secondly, you better know where to pull or else you will swiftly be directed to move up/stop/etc. Finally, your child needs to be able to bolt from the car at lightning speeds and generally by his or herself. If you have a Kindergartner then you realize what is being asked of you and your child. Graham pretty much struggles to get the back pack on and open the door, much less unbuckle a 5-point harness in 2.5 seconds! So, after the first week of school I knew we had to find a way to make part of this process a little more manageable . So, when we were given the opportunity to review the Britax Parkway SGL I was excited for a simpler solution with a brand we know and trust.
The Parkway SGL was exactly what we were looking for. It features the trusted True Side Impact Protection that we have grown to love from Britax. I think this is one of the things that sets this booster apart from others. It also took my husband under a minute to secure the seat to the car with the ISOFLEX latch system. The seat is not budging! Also, I’m not sure I have seen this feature on any other booster seat: SecureGuard. SecureGuard is a simple idea that allows you to slip the lap belt under it in order to prevent your child from slipping out of the seat belt. The headrest is quick and easy to move when your child grows and color coded seat belt guides help ensure you are positioning the seat properly. What if you decide you don’t want the back rest? Simple, just remove it with a few clicks. Graham really appreciates the cup holders and I appreciate the fact that they are retractable which creates more room when they are not in use. Since Graham can use the cars seatbelt for this seat, he can easily buckle and unbuckle himself saving our sanity in the car rider line! The Parkway SGL is made for children who weigh 40-120 pounds so make sure you weigh your kids before switching over. You can purchase this booster for about $149.
Overall, we have been completely impressed with this booster. Not only is it functional for our needs, but it is safe and keeps Graham comfortable. He actually asked if we could get one for daddy’s car as well! I think he really enjoys the independence.
Recipe for Safe Travel
Looking for a few tips on keeping your child his or her safest on the road? Here are some great tips from Sarah Tilton (child passenger safety advocate):
Here are 9 essential ingredients for a successful car ride:
1-2 convertible car seats and/or booster seats (depending on number of kids)
4-5 Rockabye Baby Music CDs
10 soft toys
1 dash of sanity
6 water –filled sippy cups
4 different healthy snacks (options!)
2 window shades
As parents, our job is to keep our kids as safe as possible. The main ingredient of this recipe is a good, reliable car seat. In addition to being safe, the kid needs to be comfortable. Really comfortable. Look for a seat that adapts as your child grows and is designed with revolutionary head safety features that are clearly labeled and visible.
Wherever your travels may take you, be sure to check out new car seat laws. You may be headed for a state that requires children to be restrained in a car seat until age 8. A ticket is not on the list of ingredients, and will likely spoil anyone’s travel appetite. With the “boost” of a booster, junior’s body will fit safely under the seat belt and he’ll be able to see out the window better.
Within what feels like minutes of leaving, your toddler may (will) start to squirm. Before leaving, make a list of playgrounds and rest stops along your route and stop every 2 hours. To entertain rear-facing car seat riders, give them soft toys and soft books. Older kids should get to choose at least one (parent-approved) toy for the ride.
Let your toddler choose tunes and sing-a-longs that will keep him engaged and having fun. Keep in mind your travel time—and your sanity—and include something from Rockabye Baby Music.
If you can, make cruise time nap time. Remember to bring siesta accessories, such as pacifiers and blankies. It may be sunny–too sunny for a sleeper–so we suggest the Britax EZ-Cling Window Shades to keep little ones shielded from excessive rays and light.
This wouldn’t be a true recipe without food! Make sure your riders are happy and well fed before taking off. Nobody wants to drive with a hungry grouch. Keep water and easy-to-open-and-access snacks near your toddler.
Enjoy your trip!
*Find a local car seat check through SafeKids USA to insure proper car seat installation!
Now one lucky Go Graham Go reader will win a Britax Car Seat! Here’s How: