Meet Jonathan, the resident Orbit Baby Child Passenger Safety Technician. He’s been with Orbit Baby for 2 years and has been instrumental in ensuring that all Orbit Baby products are safe for the children who ride in them.
Any Orbit Baby parent can contact Jonathan at @orbitbaby_support anytime with questions regarding their car seat and their child’s safety. I’ll let him tell you a little bit more about the services he offers to our customers, a bit about his certification, and answers to your most Frequently Asked Questions! Plus, at the end of the blog post, read more about Distracted Driver Awareness Month and a giveaway we have going on Instagram for the month of April.
We’re so grateful to have you as our CPST to guide Orbit Baby parents with regards to their child’s safety. What exactly does CPST stand for and what does it mean to have this certification?
A CPST or certified Child Passenger Safety Technician is someone who has taken a 3-4 day course that covers car seats, seat belt systems, crash dynamics and occupant safety systems in vehicles. The course goes into detail on best practices and all the different ways to install a car.
We’ve heard from so many Orbit Baby families how valuable your support was as they were installing their car seat. Can you tell us a bit about your service and your availability?
Orbit prioritizes safety and with 3 out of 4 car seats out there being used incorrectly, we decided we wanted to help you understand your new car seat, the different parts of the seat and we can go into detail on how to adjust and fit the seat best for your child and how to install the car seat safely in your vehicle. This service is free to all Orbit customers.
What are the three most common mistakes you see?
The first top misuse I would say I see is with harnessing. So many people don’t adjust the harness correctly for their child. Second is base installation, it is very important that you read both the car seat AND vehicle manual when trying to install your base. Another common misuse that most parents probably don’t even realize is considered a mistake is using non-regulated products on their car seat.
If you could give advice to any parent choosing a car seat, what would it be?
Choose a car seat that fits in your vehicle, will fit your child, and you can use safely every time. All car seats are safe when used correctly, so make sure you choose a car seat you can adjust and use correctly every car ride.
Kids + food = crumbs. It’s inevitable. What’s the best way to go about cleaning your car seat?
Every car seat has different cleaning requirements. Make sure you check the manual that came with the car seat or reach out to the manufacturer to find out the specifics for your car seat. Checking the manual before you clean your seat will ensure you don’t do anything that could compromise the safety and integrity of the seat. A pro tip is to take pictures of the car seat front and back to make sure you reassemble everything correctly. Another great tip is to purchase an extra car seat liner so you always have one clean and ready to go should you have to wash yours at any point.
What are the benefits of using the Orbit Baby Infant Car Seat rather than just starting with a convertible car seat?
The infant car seat is a lighter seat which allows the care giver to take the seat out of the car and attach it to the stroller much easier than with a convertible. Most convertible car seats are not designed to be removed from the vehicle after each ride. So if you are looking for something that can help you take the baby out of the car and directly onto the stroller than the ICS is a better option to start with.
One question we often hear from parents is whether or not they should install their car seat in the middle seat, driver’s side, or passenger’s side. What is your advice?
In general, CPSTs recommend the center seating position because the child is then furthest from any point of impact but we know that is not always possible. There are other factors to consider as well, such as who else rides in the vehicle and what the vehicle manufacturer says in their manual. No all cars have center seating positions or seats that allow for a proper installation. Achieving a proper install is the most important.
Another question we often get from children who are right at the age where they could sit rear facing or forward facing. What’s your advice?
We recommend keeping your child rear-facing for as long as possible, up to the maximum height and weight allowed by the car seat. You should also check with your local laws, some states have laws that require children ride rear-facing up till 2 years old.
April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month. What is this all about?
To help protect drivers and others on the roads, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is teaming up with local law enforcement offices for the U Drive. U Text. U Pay. high-visibility enforcement. The campaign goals include spreading the message about the dangers of distracted driving, and to remind drivers of the consequences of their distracted actions.
- When you get behind the wheel, be an example to your family and friends by putting your phone away. Just because other people do it doesn’t mean texting and driving is “normal” behavior.
- If you see someone texting while driving, speak up. If your friend is text while driving, tell them to stop. Listen to your passengers: If they catch you texting while driving and tell you to put your phone away, put it down.
- Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.
- Struggling to not text and drive? Activate your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature, or put your cell phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your destination.
- Use CarPlay or Android Auto.
What are the most common distractors and what are your top tips for parents on how to avoid them?
Millennials and Generation Z are the most distracted drivers, often using their cell phones to talk, text, and scroll through social media while behind the wheel. While we generally think of distracted driving as texting or talking on a cell phone, it can also take many other forms, such as adjusting the GPS, applying makeup, eating, or even interacting with other passengers. According to NHTSA, between 2012 and 2019, 26,004 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver.