Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Carseat Regulations

Incase you haven't heard, there are new carseat regulations out.  Every part of me wants to make a wise crack about them but since children's safety is involved, I won't.

According to my google research:
The new guidelines focus on five recommendations:

All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing safety seat until they are two years of age, or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the manufacturer of the seat.

If a child has outgrown his or her car seat, that child should use a forward facing seat with a harness for as long as possible.

When those children outgrow the weight and height requirements for forward facing seats, they should use a belt positioning booster seat until the lap and shoulder seat belt found in most cars fits properly, meaning the strap goes across the body, not across the face or upper shoulders.

Most importantly all children younger than 13 years of age should be restrained in the rear seats of vehicles for the best protection.

Children who stay rear-facing to at least age two are 75% less likely to die or have severe injury in a crash.
Many children will not have to stay in the booster seat if they are tall enough, about 4 foot 9 inches. The five-step test to see if they are able to sit without a booster seat is:
The child can sit in the vehicle all the way back with their knees bending comfortably over the seat and their feet touching the floor, the lap belt fits across the upper thighs and not the soft belly and the shoulder belt comes across the center chest and rests on the shoulder.
For me the booster seats aren't a big deal because we have never gotten out of them.  But, having an almost two year old still backwards will be annoying.  But at "75% less," I can do a lot of annoying things!

What are your thoughts about the new regs? 


  1. Hey momma c, it's funny you mention this. I just got a reality check with our car seat two weeks ago! Found out that they expire! Our BIG britax traveller that we have had for over six yrs was expired! Thankfully, our local chapter of Safe Kids showed me the error or our ways and hooked me up with another non expired britax for free! Who knew?

  2. I have been following these req's before they were required in the US. My little one stayed rear facing until he turned 2. He was thirty pounds and almost as tall as big brother (then 4) but I stuck to my guns. My oldest will be 5 soon and he is still in a 5 point harness seat. Everyone keeps giving me crap about it saying that he needs to be in a booster. But I don't care. I'm all about his safety and as long as he can be harnessed he will be. When people try to tell me that my boys are uncomfortable or that they'll break a leg from being rear facing I point out to them that I'd rather a break leg than a broken neck and that uncomfortable works for me if it means keeping them from injury or death. We've been in 2 accidents in the past 2 years and my children have been safe due to my insistence on follow these rules.

  3. Honestly? I think the new regulations are ridiculous. I'm all for keeping my kids safe in the car and my children will be in a booster for as long as possible. But keeping a 2 year old sitting backwards? The people who create these regs have obviously never been in a car for 4 hours on a long trip with a child who SCREAMS the entire time when they were rear-facing. I think the screaming is much more distracting for the driver and more unsafe than it is to have a child forward facing.

    I think our culture is beginning to want our children to live in a bubble. And personally, I think it's guilt for allowing abortions to be legal. The government feels guilty for allowing innocent to be life that they're going overboard trying to protect the children who are alive.

  4. There are many Safe Kid programs around. Our local Sheriff's Office and Police Department have these programs and they provide families with carseats. You don't have to have an expired one to trade in and you also don't have to fall into any certain income guidelines. We got one through them last week for our second vehicle.
    While the Sheriff was installing it he told me that so many car seats are installed propperly because they are at the wrong angle or not fastened securely.

  5. I'm still trying to figure out how a child can sit facing backwards till they are 2. I know our children are on the taller side, but where are their legs suppose to go? I was always so happy to finally be able to turn them around at 1, they were already squished.

  6. Yeah, me thinks the car manufacturers should be the one to change the way they make their car seats instead of forcing us to make the changes. And I agree...how are you going to keep an 18 month old facing the back without screaming his head off? The joys...

  7. Sometimes the recommendations for these things are overwhelming to me, just like the warning stickers all over the car seats themselves. But, I realize it is for children's safety. I tend to get anxious if everyone's strap isn't in just the right place.

  8. I imagine that when moms were first told that they had to put their babies in car seats there was a lot of protest -- I'm betting the number one complaint was "but they'll scream the whole time if not held."

    And mothers became resourceful and found ways to deal with the upset. Mothers and fathers will once again have to become resourceful and find some new tricks. It's not impossible, and it's not forever. A broken neck or a dead child will have consequence that are forever.

    And a child's legs are not the same as a 20 or 30-somethings legs -- they are easily tucked up for long periods w/o harm -- just watch a child squat while playing or sleep in the fetal position. The goal is not to get to the destination as quickly as possible, but to get there as safely as possible.

  9. I appreciate all the comments and thoughts that you all have to share. Some of them reflect my thoughts as well.
    Our son had his 4 month check up. He is 1/4" away from meeting the max length for his infant carseat. He can only tripod sit and barely that. I have faced this dilemma with each of our kiddos. An infant carry is so much easier to keep him in. But it comes down to "what if..." If something were to happen, I don't want to always wonder "if I would have."
    But at some point, we have to do the best we can, with the knowledge and resources that we have and leave the rest to God. I don't say that easily because of my past. But, as praise, I know God is in control.


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