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Jan 15, 2016

The Current Car Seat Laws in Michigan


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/ 

Know what the leading cause of death is for children? Unintentional injury - in a car accident. (8081 deaths in 2012 ages birth to 24)

One of my BIGGEST worries of being a parent or caregiver is car seat safety. {I think my friends might think I am slightly obsessed... and yes I see you roll your eyes at me, it's okay, I still love you.}

And considering that most accidents occur within 5 miles of home, "It's just a short trip" doesn't cut it.
You can be the best driver in the world, but you can't control anyone else but yourself, chances are if you are in an accident, it won't be your fault but that doesn't change the fact that the accident occurred. It certainly won't bring your child back to life should he/she be killed because they were improperly secured in a car seat. (Or not secured at all, gasp.)




So what is the current Michigan Law say about securing children in the car? 

  • Children younger than age 4 to ride in a car seat in the rear seat if the vehicle has a rear seat. If all available rear seats are occupied by children under 4, then a child under 4 may ride in a car seat in the front seat. A child in a rear-facing car seat may only ride in the front seat if the airbag is turned off.
  • Children to be properly buckled in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4-feet-9-inches tall. Children must ride in a seat until they reach the age requirement or the height requirement, whichever comes first.
The current law leaves a lot up to parents in the way of choosing the correct seat.  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.


Current APA Recommendations - Not Current Michigan Law
A word about choosing the right car seat: it isn't a race to the top.  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.  Many seats will rear face up to 40 pounds.

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 (check out Nine Convertible Car Seats that have extended stages.  Weight is not the only consideration, make sure your child does not exceed the height limits as well.

Michigan also has a wonderful Car Seat Basics page, a great resource for parents and caregivers to ensure that they are securing their child properly in the car. 

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

Metro Detroit Mommy Blogger:

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