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Car Seat Laws

I took both my kids to the doctor for well-child checks. Our doctor started talking about how my youngest, who turned 2 year old today could face foward now. Am I the only one who was un-aware they changed it from a year to 2 years for foward facing? (I'm from Kansas). And also that kids under 40lbs are supposed to be in a 5 harness carseat? I've had my 3 year old in a booster seat for sometime now, because he's alread 3' 7". Honestly would think they'd annoynce something like this to the public a little better.

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Asked by Mom_of_2_boyz87 at 4:11 PM on Mar. 10, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (10)
  • wow... never knew! well, my first 2 were in rear facing till 1 yr and 20 lbs. my 4 year old is STILL in a 5pt harness, and will be until her butt won't fit. she's petite, and is 3ft2 and 32 lbs. i guess this next goob will be rear facing for longer than my other 2. lol.

    Answer by gracefulsky at 4:17 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • my dd was rear facing till 33 mts and now she is ff in a 5 point harness and will be there till she is at least 6 yrs old. my ds is 1 and 19 lbs and rf and will rf till 35 lbs and then be in 5 pont harness till he is 6.

    by the way my dd is 3 and i wouldnt put her in a booster at all.

    Answer by piwife at 4:22 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • I was aware of it, but its just a recommendation. They can be forward facing at a year and 20lbs but now they say that they are less likely to be injured in an accident if they are rear facing until 2. The actual law did not change, just the recommendation. That is probably why you hadn't heard of it before.


    Answer by NAT24ROXY24 at 5:21 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • Bravo to a well educated doctor!
    However, I don't think the laws have changed in any state, as of yet, for rear facing to 2 years old. But the American Academy of Pediatrics does say children should rear face to at least 2 and 30 lbs and longer is better.
    As for a booster, it depends on the state... but most states require a 5 point harness until they are 4 and 40lbs BUT most children' aren't old enough to sit well in a booster until they are closer to 5 or 6 years old. A 3 year old is for sure not ready for a booster... look up Submarining... it's what happens when a child is too small for a seat belt

    Answer by AmiJanell at 5:38 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • For those who mentioned not putting a 3 year old in a booster seat I thought I would mention that my 3 year old DS is 3'7" and 37lbs. Practically the size of a 4 year old.

    Answer by Mom_of_2_boyz87 at 7:03 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • Its not a new law, but I am SOOO glad to hear that your Doc is educated on carseats!
    It doesnt matter if your 3 year old is "practically" the size of a 4 year old, she is NOT 4, therefore it is NOT legal. Weight plays a small role, height plays a bigger role, but MATURITY plays the BIGGEST role as to whether or not your child is ready for a booster. At age 3, NO WAY!
    I dont want to seem like I'm bashing you, but you are possibly being handed the way to save your childs life in the event of a car crash, it could be SERIOUS, and I would hate to see you ignore it like SOOO many others do.

    Answer by Auntiemom410 at 10:47 PM on Mar. 10, 2010

  • Thanks for the tips! And I wasn't planning on ignoring it. I was actually planning on buying a new car seat by the end of this week.

    Answer by Mom_of_2_boyz87 at 1:22 AM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • That is great! My 5 year old is still harnessed in the Graco Nautilus- it harnesses to 65lbs, then boosters to 100. It runs about $150 at walmart, you may be able to find it onsale online. Its cheaper to buy it from than to buy it in stores. I know it sounds like alot of money for a carseat, but its a really good investment because you will never have to buy another carseat, and its SAFE.

    Answer by Auntiemom410 at 9:41 AM on Mar. 11, 2010

  • They make higher weight harnessing seats, made for big and tall kids. I know, because my son is in one. He is 2 and a half and is 38.5 inches tall and 34 pounds.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ride rear facing until they hit the maximum rear facing limit (weight or height) of the seat, with 2 years and 30 pounds the bare minimum recommendation.

    I'm a single mom raising my son without any financial help. I don't see any reason not to spend the money to protect him.

    Answer by gypsysmiles at 1:40 AM on Mar. 15, 2010

  • I also live in Kansas. I don't think they changed the laws. I called my local police station last summer. My then 3 1/2 year old weighed over 40 pounds. I did go buy him a bigger seat to keep him in a 5 point harness. They said that infants have to be rear facing until they are 12 months and 20 pounds, in a 5 point harness until they are 4 years old and in a booster seat until they are 4'9".

    My baby will be rear facing until she outgrows her seat she is 13 months and 20 pounds, my middle son, who is 4, will be in the 5 point harness until he is 65 pounds, and my oldest, who will be 10 at the end of the month, will be in his backless booster until he is 4'9". Three inches to go.

    Answer by kerijeanbean at 1:03 PM on Mar. 15, 2010

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