Dec 5, 2014

New Car Seat Laws proposed in Michigan... #CarSeatSafety

Disclosure:  If you have any questions about your child and their car seat please consult with a Licensed Car Seat Technician, you can find one here: http://cert.safekids.org/ 

UPDATE 1/8/15 "The bill was never heard by the House so it did not get to the Governor's desk for approval. Since a new legislature starts this week, it will be up to them to decide if they want to try to re-introduce a similar bill for 2015." - Alyson Kechkaylo - Michigan State Child Passenger Safety Coordinator


The Michigan Senate has voted to update the rules for how children should be secured in their car seats.

The Senate sent the House legislation Thursday bringing Michigan's standards in line with recommendations from pediatricians and the federal government.


    (A) IF THE CHILD WEIGHS NOT MORE THAN 30 POUNDS OR IS LESS

THAN 2 YEARS OF AGE, IN A REAR-FACING CHILD SEAT.

     (B) IF THE CHILD WEIGHS NOT LESS THAN 30 POUNDS BUT LESS THAN

50 POUNDS, OR IS 2 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER BUT LESS THAN 5 YEARS OF

AGE, IN A FORWARD-FACING CHILD SEAT.

     (C) IF THE CHILD IS NOT MORE THAN 57 INCHES TALL AND WEIGHS 50

POUNDS OR MORE, OR IS 5 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER BUT LESS THAN 10

YEARS OF AGE, IN A BOOSTER SEAT.

The new proposed Michigan law is intended to bring the state standards up to those recommended by the Academy of Pediatricians which are shown below.
 
America Academy of Pediatricians recommendations

According to the American Academy of Pediatricians children should remain in rear-facing safety seats until the child is at least age two. Forward facing seats should be used at least until the child reaches age five.  Finally a child should use a booster at least until they reach age ten or a height  of  4 feet 9 inches.

A word about choosing the right car seat: it isn't a race to the top... really it isn't.  Children in rear facing car seats are 5 times safer than forward facing.  The goal is to keep children rear facing as long as possible.  While the new law states children should move up to a forward facing seat at 30 pounds or 2 years, this section provides for parents to choose the best seat for their child:
"IT IS THE INTENT OF THE LEGISLATURE THAT THE ENFORCEMENT OF THIS SECTION BE CONDUCTED IN A MANNER CALCULATED TO SAVE LIVES AND NOT IN A MANNER THAT RESULTS IN THE HARASSMENT OF THE CITIZENS OF THIS STATE."
I am really disappointed with the wording of the proposed law.

Forward facing five point harness seats are safer than boosters, and boosters are safer than seat belts.  So there is no rush to move your child up to the next stage.  Check your car seats manual to see what the limits are on each position (if applicable) and follow their instructions.  Some car seats rear face up to 50 pounds, forward facing up to 65 pounds and booster up to 100 pounds.  Weight is not the only consideration, make sure your child does not exceed the height limits as well.

Want to find out everything you ever wanted to know about car seats and more?   Check out
http://thecarseatlady.com/

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Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

17 comments :

  1. So does this leave the law up to the individual interpretation for police officers if I leave my child rear facing longer? He is currently 32 pounds and over 2 years old.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not a lawyer or a CST however I do believe that this line leaves it open for parents to use the car seat that is the best for their child: "IT IS THE INTENT OF THE LEGISLATURE THAT THE ENFORCEMENT OF THIS SECTION BE CONDUCTED IN A MANNER CALCULATED TO SAVE LIVES AND NOT IN A MANNER THAT RESULTS IN THE HARASSMENT OF THE CITIZENS OF THIS STATE."

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    2. As a parent you can hold to a higher standard than the law, but not a lower standard

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    3. It says "when your child outgrows the RF seat" ... so get one that goes to 50lbs and use it as long as your kid is short enough to still fit in it.

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  2. https://www.change.org/p/michigan-state-house-change-the-wording-of-senate-bill-1135

    ReplyDelete
  3. I sent an email to Senator Proos last week requesting a change in the wording of the bill as it is unclear in its current form. Many of us are well aware that it is safest to remain in a given seat and orientation to the height and weight limits of that particular seat as it offers the most protection. I have not yet received a response.

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  4. What if the child is under age and weight for a RF seat but is to tall for it? My child is 15 mths old and only 20 lbs but she's a tall girl. I've tried to change her seat but she is just to task for ask the RF seats. What do I do?

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    Replies
    1. Checkout britax and recaro seats, my britax clicktight boulevard accommodates rear facing children up to 49".

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  5. I have been searching high and low... can anyone recommend a carseat for a child who is 39 inches tall and 35 lbs? All I can find are convertible booster seats.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you want a seat that is only rear facing? Or one that will take you through booster?
      There are many convertible seats here: http://blog.metrodetroitmommy.com/2014/12/convertible-car-seats-that-rear-face-up.html They are a little pricy, but barring a car accident, should be the only car seat you will need til your child can safely sit in a belt. Please email me if you still have questions, or check out the car seat lady.

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    2. Britax and recaro, height limits for different models of britax may vary, but many models go up to 49" and 40lbs

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    3. Our Dionos have a 45 lbs and 44 inch limit for rear facing, and the newer versions have an even higher height and weight limit. We absolutely love them, I highly suggest Diono!! (we have the RXT's)

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  6. My son is 8 years old 75 pounds and 51 inches. There is no way that he will fit back into a booster not will I make him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boosters go up to 120 pounds so yes your son would fit.

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    2. There are nine boosters listed here that he will fit into: http://blog.metrodetroitmommy.com/2014/12/convertible-car-seats-that-rear-face-up.html
      But you can also find boosters only that will accommodate. A booster is much safer than a seat belt until your child reaches 57 inches.
      Here is the Car Seat Lady's 5 point test to see if you child is ready for a seat belt:
      http://thecarseatlady.wordpress.com/boosters/5steptest/

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  7. While legislation was introduced to modify the car seat law, this was not approved by the Legislature before the end of 2014, which was when the official session ended. As such, there have been no changes to the current law.

    ReplyDelete