New Car Seat Regulations

Updated on March 22, 2011
K.M. asks from Streamwood, IL
10 answers

Have you seen this the new car set regulations? Do they effect you differently than what you are currently doing?

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answers from Kansas City on

i am SUPER glad my son is 4 (he is in a booster seat and has been for over a year). because by the time he was 1 he was kissing his knees in rear-facing. i would have been livid if someone had told me he had to be rear facing until 2. he was the size of a 4 year old at that point.

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answers from Norfolk on

I understand what they are trying to do but the kids are getting bigger/taller faster than these guideline people realize. You almost have to have a car where the whole seat can be facing backward so the kids legs aren't scrunched up or splayed out. If it's so much safer, why shouldn't everyone but the driver be facing backward?
My son was 25 lbs by his first birthday. He got big fast.
Isn't it amazing we all survived our own childhood?
Because none of this stuff existed in the 60's/70's.
Since my son is 12 now, I'm more worried about him wanting his learners permit in 3.5 years.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Nope. DD is RF and will remain RF til our seat maxes out. It was the plan from the get-go. I posted this on FB and I think I upset a few friends (whose kids are well above 2 anyway) because they turned their kids much earlier and claim that no way would the kid fit RF. Well, yes, DD has to cross her legs or bend her knees (depending on the car) but she's fine. If a car seat prevents you from driving safely, then move the location, get a different seat, or change the primary vehicle for the child's transportation.

This has been the advice of car seat tech installers for quite a while (I think this is not currently law. That remains 1 yr AND 20 lbs, something people still don't take seriously sometimes). Longer RFing was mentioned to me when DD was born and again when we had them check our convertible seat. Quite simply the data shows that little kids travel more safely RF for longer. Personally, I would rather my child potentially break a leg before her neck.

I'm also glad that the seats are getting higher limits (straps and weight) in general, and that companies like Babies R Us have "trade in" days where parents can take an unsafe seat and get % off for a new, safe one. We bought our seat on sale and it will serve her til she is 65 lbs (if she doesn't outgrow in height...of course a year later the limits got higher, but we'll cross that when we get there), which is a long time. If you wanted, you could skip the carrier in the first place and buy a convertible from the start. Most will hold a baby from 5lbs.

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answers from Boston on

We rear faced my youngest until 2 they make seats that will rear face until 40 lbs so people need to stop the "my kid is too big" excuse. And our ped told that it would intact be safer all passengers in the car faced backwards. My 9 year old is just she of the recommended height to be out of a booster eat so he still uses his and my almost 4 year old is happily harnessed and will be until he outgrows the height or weight for it.

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answers from Kansas City on

I can't speak to all states. But I have tried and tried to look for the actual Missouri statutes on this online. I have read in multiple places that it's actually only a recommendation, not a regulation. All the webpages I found stated that here it's only to age 4, 5 and up "should" be in the car seats.

My daughter was in a booster seat until she hit about 85 pounds. After that it became increasingly uncomfortable. She's 120 pounds now and going to be 11 in the fall. She's taller than needed so she's out of the guidelines. But there's no way I would have her in the seat at this age, period. There's being safe. Then there's being stupid.

What about choking? Choking is SILENT. I don't know anyone that doesn't give their kids toys and food in the car. I will be able to look at my kids. I don't like rear facing for any age.

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answers from Jacksonville on

My kids are too old for rear facing but one of the biggest problems I did have while they were rear facing was the fact that the harness straps were too short to fit them properly once they got to 1yr old. The top hole for the harness would have been too far below their shoulder as well. I know they say get them a convertible that can stay rear facing then forward when they turn 2yrs old but carseats are so freaking expensive that paying $100+ a year for the next 3 yrs (1yr-infant carseat, 2nd yr- convertible, 3rd yr-front facing 5 point) per child just wasn't feasible for our pocket book either. While I think it is a great idea to keep them rear facing longer, car seat manufactures need to make the prices of their seats more affordable to the common joe to make this happen too.



answers from Lincoln on

No but I have small kids! My 18 month old is about 17 lbs so has to remain rearfacing anyways. My older daughter I didn't turn around til about 2 years either because she didn't hit 20 lbs til right before then. I know it's safest so my little one will probably go to kindergarten rearfacing!


answers from Washington DC on

I'm just glad my kids are teens.
They both HATED to be rear facing and as soon as they were heavy enough, I turned them around. They were much happier front facing.
Personally, I don't like the government telling me what I can and can't do with my own children. There are simply too many regulations. This is a product of our sue happy society... What happened to common sense?



answers from Chicago on

Our son will be 2 next month. He was rear facing until last month, because he was 33 pounds, and that was the maximum weight limit for our marathon carseat to be rear facing. Just like some pp's have mentioned, I hate when I hear, "They hated it!" Did they tell you that?:) I also cringe when I see people putting their kids in carseats with puffy coats on or the chest clips down by the crotch. READ THE MANUAL PEOPLE!!!!


Our son will be 2 next month. He was rear facing until last month, because he was 33 pounds, and that was the maximum weight limit for our marathon carseat to be rear facing. Just like some pp's have mentioned, I hate when I hear, "They hated it!" Did they tell you that?:) I also cringe when I see people putting their kids in carseats with puffy coats on or the chest clips down by the crotch. READ THE MANUAL PEOPLE!!!!



answers from Chattanooga on

I like that they are changing the laws. I would rather have my baby uncomfortable for the 20 minutes it takes to get somewhere than dead. Especially when you consider how many more accidents happen now than years ago... People now are soo much less courteous, in a hurry, showing off, drunk, whatever. Add to that the amount of people on the roads now, you are soo much more likely to get in a wreck. I remember as a kid, we used to sit 5-6 kids in the backseat, share seatbelts, ride in the bed of a truck, etc. and nobody even blinked at it... but now there are laws against it because it's not safe... and that's the bottom line. My DD is very big... at 9 months she had outgrown her carrier seat. I was able to find a decent convertible seat that will allow her to be rear facing until she is 35 lbs, then forward facing until she is 85. After that, a $20 booster seat is all she will need, so it' really isn't all that expensive in the long run if you shop smart... definitely cheaper than the medical bills or funeral costs if you just happen to become one of the statistics... As far as choking is concerned, the toys I give my DD are not choking hazards, and if she is eating while rear-facing, then I (or a passenger) am sitting back there with her. If there isn't a way to monitor her, she doesn't eat in the car. She's not going to starve to death in the time it takes to get where we are going. Or I pull over.

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