Britax Advocate 70 Car Seat Review – Two Overlooked Reasons to Love It

It is no secret that I am a HUGE fan of the Britax Advocate car seat. It’s the car seat I have come to rely on for younger children for many reasons. Some of these reasons are the Advocate’s high rating for crash tests, high quality construction and the company’s excellent customer service. While all those are important, I want to mention a few often overlooked reasons why I consider the Britax Advocate to be the top of the line for convertible car seats.

The first reason is the near perfect angle at which the car seat is positioned once installed. For many convertible infant seats, the angle will position your child comfortably when rear facing but leave him or her sitting far too upright when forward facing or vice versa. Some of the lower priced units on the market even manage to avoid proper reclining in BOTH positions. The Advocate doesn’t have this problem. No matter if you are using the seat in rear facing mode for a young infant or as a forward facing seat for your eleven month old, you will find that the Advocate’s reclining angle is perfect in both situations. An easy way to see this is when your child falls asleep during a drive. In the old Evanflo convertible we used to use, my eldest daughter would always end up slumping forward when snoozing during a road trip, even after we worked the seat’s base adjustment to its limit. It just wouldn’t recline back far enough for her.

The next point is general comfort. This seems to be something many car seat makers couldn’t care less about. Try this experiment: Go to your local Target, Walmart or other mass retailer in your area and look at some of the selections they offer for car seats. Slip your fingers between the main molded part of the seat and feel the foam cushioning. Notice anything? Many will seem to have practically no real padding at all. At best, some have nothing more than about a quarter inch of cheap foam. Do they really expect a thirty pound child to be comfortable in that? Just looking at the Britax Advocate will tell you it is totally different. The design for the padding and how it is attached to the seat gives more the impression of an overstuffed recliner. That is exactly the kind of comfort I wanted for my little one. Think of it like this: If you had to spend four hours in a car, would you rather be in comfort, or strapped into the equivalent of one of those cheap, plastic desk chairs from a college lecture hall?

I know most people are primarily interested in safety when it comes to car seats. Yes, safety should still be your highest concern. Every car seat maker likes to trumpet the safety ratings of its products in all of its literature, and you will actually have to look hard to find a seat that doesn’t have at least a decent safety rating. The points I’ve gone over mainly deal with your child’s comfort when traveling. What I’d like to make clear is that with the Britax Advocate, you can easily have both safety and comfort. This is why I’ve switched to using it for my child, and why I recommend it to others.

Learn From a Registered Nurse How to Advocate For Your Self in the Health Care Setting

Are you interested in advocating for yourself in the health care setting? Then you will want to read this article. In this article, we will discuss the fact that only YOU can advocate for your health. Before your next Medical Visit start by having a list of all the medications you take, name, dosage amount and how many times a day you take it. Write down any side effects such as diarrhea or decreased energy or if your appetite has changed. It also helps to note when the side effect occurs, for instance right after you take the medication or later on. Also write down any allergies you have to either food or medication. Keep a copy of this information on your computer and a hard copy in your wallet or purse. You can even down load it to a “thumb or flash drive”, then the physicians office can open it up and print a copy for your medical chart so it will be readily available for the clinician. Lastly, write down any questions you may have for the clinician regarding either medication, treatment or maybe the lab results previously completed. Perhaps you have questions about an upcoming test that you are going to be scheduled for.

Years ago it was very common not to question your health care provider. After all, he was the Doctor right? Not any more, with the advances in health care and access to knowledge and education, it has really become our responsibility to advocate for our health care. If you put this information to use you should feel confident you are receiving the health care you need.

Only you can advocate for your health, as a Registered Nurse I listen to what my patient is telling me. If he or she is saying something is wrong I listen to them, ask questions and help solve the problem. A wise clinician always listens to their patients, I learned this early in my career. Advocating for yourself in health care is essential because you know yourself the best. Even though the clinician has the education to put the information you are providing together, they still need the what only you as the historian can provide. You are the main piece of the puzzle.

It is also important to know what to do if you or a loved one is Hospitalized. If you feel that either something is wrong and needs to be corrected or your loved ones health is deteriorating and it seems like no one is listening to you. Then you need to use what is referred to as the “Chain of Command.” First you would start with the staff RN or LVN that is providing care for your loved one. If they do not resolve the issue, or you feel like you are not being heard or they are too busy, then go to the next person in line. That would be the charge nurse on the floor and so on until someone listens to you.

For example, your loved one needs to have the bed linen changed, the hospital staff is busy. How long do you wait before saying anything? Not long, first let them know. You can start with the CNA or certified nurses aide, if they are too busy then ask the primary care nurse, either RN or LVN. I would think that the staff RN would provide help immediately. As a staff RN I would always help my CNA’s change my patients position or help change their linen, it was a part of my job. I wanted my patients taken care of. If that does not get results the next person in line is the Charge RN on the floor, still nothing? Then you could either ask to speak with the House Supervisor if it is a weekend, or either the Director of Nursing for the facility or administrative person in charge. This could be the Hospital administrator or someone who has the responsibility to take care of customer service issues. Some hospitals even have a specific position for this, a patient service ambassador.

Does this seem like how a hotel or airline would handle problems? In fact, it is similar. Now days you can go online and find out how individual hospitals are rated. Good or bad. Believe me, hospitals are aware of not only customer service issues but the fact that happy people do not sue as often as unhappy people. That is the bottom line. Additionally, I worked for a small community hospital that had a problem with people being exposed to hepatitis through contaminated scopes used for endoscopys. What did they do? They immediately called the media and the chief of staff addressed the issue, reassuring the community that they were acting responsibly by communicating to the public what had happened. I believe that was the smartest thing they could have done. Not only that, I was proud to be a part of a health care system that was responsible enough and cared enough to address the problem first. I know the community appreciated it too. Yes, there were a few people that were upset, understandably so. They were all offered testing and to my knowledge there were not any reports of people contracting hepatitis.

Again, before your next medical visit take the time to write down any questions you have regarding your treatment, medications or something you may need to have clarified. Advocating during your medical visit is vital to your health care. Just as it would be if you were charged for something in error. Most health care clinicians welcome patients that ask questions. It gives the provider an excuse to educate and as a Registered Nurse, I love to educate. Even people that do not want me to educate them, I do, for example smokers. I educate them, then tell them I am a nurse and they usually appreciate it. They usually also agree with me and tell me they know smoking is bad for their health.

You can be assured your receiving the health care you need when you are an active participant. Your concerns should be important to your clinician, if not find a new one! One that will take the time to listen to you, you deserve it. Would you keep the same mechanic if every time you took your car to be repaired he just did what he thought was needed? No! It should not be that way with your health care provider either. Advocating for Yourself in the health care setting is possible and again, usually welcomed. Only you can do what it takes to safeguard your health and the health of your loved ones. So start today, you will feel confident you are receiving the health care you need.

Advocating for Autism – An Overwhelming Success, or Is It?

For almost a half century those advocating for autism have seen

• Improved diagnostic procedures

• New medications

• Many new training tools for children

• Improved types of therapy

o Applied Behavioral Analysis

o Speech therapy

• Many states now provide improved education for special needs children

• Many states now require autism to be covered by insurance

With the autism incidence going from 1 in 10,000 in the early 1960s to 1 in 88 as recently reported by the CDC and projections of increasing at a rate of more than 20% per year, one would have to describe autism as a growth industry.

A good thing for service providers, but not good for the parents or children.

Unfortunately those advocating for autism have not seen

• The cause for autism being identified

• Tools developed for prediction of autism—before symptoms develop

• Tools developed for early intervention that will eliminate the risk of autism

• Any procedures for the prevention of autism

• Any treatments, medications, or therapies that will cure autism

Advocating for the Elimination of Autism – The Path to Greater Success

• First we need to know the cause – The major cause for autism is a poor diet; also, the greatest risk factor for children with autism.

• Then prediction will be possible – Research has shown predictions based upon fifteen environmental and dietary factors are accurate more than 95% of the time.

• With accurate prediction, most risks identified can be totally eliminated

• Proper early intervention will then prevent the development of autism symptoms

• With prevention, you will eliminate the epidemic of autism over time – No new cases

Success measured in this manner would show

• Fewer children having to experience growing up with these symptoms

• Elimination of the long wait for the first appointment

• Significant reductions in special needs children in our schools

• Significant reductions in the money spent for medical services

• Fewer families would be disrupted or broken up and would not experience the financial ruin often reported

This is a personal invitation to anyone who is or wants to advocate for autism. Please put some strings on your advocacy so that any monies or support goes toward the cause, prevention, and ultimately the elimination of autism. Autism has been extensively researched since 1960 and they have not yet identified the cause! After all, it was only 1903 that man was first able to fly but only sixty-six years later man walked on the moon. When using volunteers and taxpayer monies I believe the effort should be to help the children and their families rather than growing the business of autism.

Cost of Hiring a Buyer’s Advocate

Buying a home is tedious work as it takes time, research and a lot of paper work. As such, you have two options – do it on your own or get the help of a buyer’s advocate.

The process of buying a home can be done without a hitch if one gets the services of a professional real estate agent. With a trusted professional to assist you, you can be sure to find your dream home or at least one closest to that.

The fee for hiring a real estate agent depends on their expertise, the level of service you want and the extent of the job you need. Other factors that can influence the fee are the condition of the property you want to purchase, budget, search area, specific aspects and level of difficulty.

Full Service

The fee for a full service agent normally ranges from 1.5 percent to 2 percent of the purchase exclusive of the GST. This rate is similar to what seller’s agents charge.

Home buyers can also choose an agent who charges a fixed fee. A fixed fee is already set regardless of the property’s price which can actually save you such as in the event you purchase a property at a higher cost. This fee, however, may be collected in advance depending on the type of service you require.

Specific Service

If you require help only in certain aspect of the home buying process, you can still hire a buyer’s advocate but for a specific service only. As an example, you can get the services of an agent for negotiation only. At an auction, this real estate professional will negotiate the property price on your behalf before, during and after the auction.

The fee for a negotiation only service is usually one percent of the total purchase price plus GST. Or it can be a fixed rate depending on your agreement.

If you want to be represented during auction bidding, the fee starts at $500 for each auction an agent attends. You will have to pay an additional fee on a successful purchase from that auction.

Take note that most real estate professionals would already ask for payment of a portion of their fee during the signing of contract. The initial fee can range from $1,000 to 50 percent of their total fee and is non-refundable. In some instances when the purchase of a property does not push through, the fee can be refunded.

Non-refundable fees are meant to compensate the efforts of a buyer’s advocate in searching for your desired properties or what is called their chargeable time. This should be stated in the contract to make the homebuyer aware before he or she signs the agreement.