Arkansas carseat laws?
when can my son be switched from a forward facing Carseat on a high back booster seat? i have looked at the DMV website and the police station web site and i can't find it on either one.
the booster seat we got him a few months ago (it was on sale so we snagged it while we could and stored it) says 30lbs, so can i use it now (he's 35 lbs and getting to tall for his Carseat) or may the laws be different?
- boneheaderssLv 78 years agoFavorite Answer
Most child passenger safety laws are vague. They are terribly outdated and represent only the minimum safety guidelines. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of both disability and death for children under age 12 in the United States. This is why it is important to follow best safety practices.
How old is your 35 lb child? If your child is under age 5, I would consider buying another car seat with the harness that can accommodate your child. I will explain.
About 7 months ago a 3 year old girl was killed in a car crash. She was restrained in a booster seat. Her parents thought that a booster seat was appropriate because "the box said it was OK":
Here is the story by CBS news: http://www.8newsnow.com/story/20596976/breaking-ne...
Here is another mom's take on the story that better explains the car seat guidelines: http://thestir.cafemom.com/toddler/149737/putting_...
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations say that a properly used forward facing car seat with a harness is always safer than a properly used booster seat. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says to keep 4 to 7 year olds in harnessed car seats for as long as possible, until it has genuinely been outgrown.
The reasoning behind these recommendations is because a booster seat can only protect a child who sits up straight and back into the seat. A child needs to be mature enough to sit still. A child leans over to pick up their toy or plays with the seatbelt will not be protected in this type of seat. A child who sleeps in the vehicle may slump over which is not safe.
In addition to being emotionally mature, a child needs to be developmentally big enough. When your baby was born, their bones were very soft because they had a lot of cartilage. As time goes by, this cartilage is replaced by dense bone. A child's pelvic bones start to harden around age 5 to 6. A 3 year old child's bones are soft, meaning that a child can easily submarine and injure their inner organs and spinal cord. This can happen even if the booster seat positioned the lap belt low on the child's hips. The website below explains dynamic submarining: http://www.thecarseatlady.com/booster_seats/booste...
The crotch strap on a harnessed car seat prevents submarining.
And here is how a forward facing car seat is outgrown (when ONE of the following happens):
-the child hits the maximum forward facing weight limit of the seat with the harness
-the tips of the child's ears are parallel to the top of the seat
-the harness straps are parallel to the child's shoulders in the top most harness slots***
***When a child is forward facing, it is extremely important that the harness straps are coming from at or slightly above the shoulders. Having the harness straps coming form below is dangerous as it will compress a child's spine and increases how far the head flies forward.
If your child is at least 5 years old and mature enough to use the booster seat correctly, then I would look into the Graco Turbobooster. It does a great job of positioning the lap/shoulder seat belt very well on those younger kids. It also is affordable and can be found for $50.
If you're looking for a harnessed car seat, I would look into the following...
-Evenflo Maestro (50 lb weight limit; 18 inch top slots)
-Harmony Defender 360 (65 lb weight limit; 18 inch top slots)
-Evenflo SecureKids 300 or 400 model (65 lb weight limit; 18 inch top slots)
-Graco Nautilus (65 lb weight limit; 18 inch top harness slots)
-Recaro Prosport (90 lb weight limit; 18 inch top slots)
-Britax Frontier 85 (85 lb weight limit; 20 inch top slots)
-Britax Frontier 90 (90 lb weight limit; 20.5 inch top slots)
All of these seats above start out as a car seat with a harness and then can be converted into a booster seat. The Harmony Defender has a really short crotch strap and may bother boys in particular. The Evenflo Maestro's booster mode function will be outgrown at the same time the harness is outgrown by height. The SecureKid 300/400 model only gives you about an inch of torso height growth after the harness is outgrown. This means it could last you another year as a booster or as little as growth spurt away.
The Britax Frontier 85 would last a child the longest in harness mode and makes the tallest booster on the US market (even tall than the newer Frontier 90 model). The downside is that it is very pricy.
- BobbiLv 78 years ago
Sadly, car seat makers willingly endanger the safety and lives of children to appease parents who want their 3 year old in a booster seat. It is safest to keep your child in the harness as long as possible. A high back booster at the earliest at age 4.
Most 3 year old's in a booster seat will be injured in a car crash, after age 5 the risk drops. The 30 pounds is the minimum level of safety allowed by law. I would look into a harnessed booster like the Evenflo SureKids 300/400 that harnesses to over age 5.