Monday, June 15, 2009

Those Darn Laws

I try my best to be a law abiding citizen. I really do. But, I admit that sometimes I knowingly break the speed limit if I'm running late -- or listening to a fun upbeat song. (I'll work on that.) And I have been known to cross the street in the middle of the road back in Provo when no cars were around. I probably should have gone the extra 150 feet so I could lawfully walk between the thickly painted white lines. But, I didn't. Laws are here for our safety. I understand that. But those darn laws sometimes get in my way! Let's talk carseats for kids.

Samantha will be 3 next week. She weighs anywhere between 18-19 lbs (depending on which doctor's scale were using.) I kept her in a rear facing carseat until she was over 2. I remember one day talking to our pediatrician about it, and I was thrilled when he said, "These laws are good and meant to be there for the kids safety. But Samantha may be under 20 pounds for a long time. Is it realistic to keep her rear facing until she's 5?" He gave me the unofficial go ahead to turn her seat around. Wahoo! It was great.

Callie is 17 months. She weighs almost 19 lbs depending on the day. About a month ago I turned her carseat around. I knew she wasn't 20 pounds, but I didn't care. To me, she was close enough and it would make it a lot easier. She was starting to really kick the seat and pull at the fabric on the car door. Turning her around changed all of that, and it made our rides more enjoyable.

Saturday, while running errands, I saw a FREE CARSEAT CHECK. "Oh good," thought I as I turned into the parking lot of our local Kmart. I've been thinking Sammy's carseat looked a little funny in our car, and I wanted to make sure it was in securely. 45 minutes later and after the entire team and Spokane law enforcement worked on our car, we got the 2 carseats out and back in our car -- REAR FACING! I kept thinking, "I should have lied." "I should have said they were 20 pounds." "When I get home I'm turning these suckers around." Then came the guilt. I know it's safer for them to be rear facing until they are 20 pounds. So, do I put my convienence ahead of their safety? Do I leave Sammy rear facing until she's 12? Will the 3 extra months we have Callie rear facing before she gains that 1 lb make that big of a difference? And, what's more important, that they are rearfacing or that the actual belts are tight enough? Because they way the carseats are in now, I can't properly tighten the straps. Grrrr Then you read articles like this.

I came home extremely irritated with the stupid seat checker people for pushing the passenger seat up uncomfortably in order to fit the carseats in and making my life miserable and with myself for being irritated that they want to make my children safe! So, for now, the girls are rear facing again and no one in the family is happy about it.


Alisa F. said...

Think about it this way: do you think your parents really made a big deal about it when you were little? Probably not. And you're still fine. :) The world has just gotten into hysterics about things like this and it's really not worth it. I'd turn those seats back around! But that's just my opinion... :)

Paige said...

Reagan will be one on Thursday. She weighs 20 pounds. She has outgrown her infant seat so two weeks ago we bought her a new big girl car seat. The new car seat is designed to hold children up to 35 pounds rear facing & children from 20 to 40 pounds forward facing. Robert was insisting that she be rear facing & I was insisting that she be forward facing. We argued. Robert kept saying things like "I just want her head to stay attached to her body." I was ticked. We finally agreed to keep her rear facing at the most until she's 18 months. I think one pound is not a huge deal, but some people (like my husband) think that it is a HUGE deal. No one will tell you that they're safer facing forward but they are probably okay...I lost my own battle on this one & if Marcus agrees, turn them around!

Jackie said...

I heard on the news the other day, that the new recommendation (not an actual law) states that a child should remain rear facing until 4 years of age. I'm sorry, but my 4 year old would have knees in her face if I kept her rear facing that long, and she's not very big. I noticed in that article you posted that his grandson was 34lbs and 39 inches at 18 months?? My daughter is almost 5, and is only 35lbs and 36 inches. I can't imagine a child being so big at such a young age.

Thad and Julie said...

The issue is with muscle development and the ability to maintain a relatively stable head to avoid causing a spinal-cranial injury in the event of an accident. Typically, the magic number is 1 year and 20 lbs. But by the age of 1.5 most children have developed enough neck muscle and control that forward facing is not a problem, regardless of their weight ratio. We had the same problem with Savvy and when she was 1.5 and only 17 pounds, we turned her around. And as you know, that made all the difference in an enjoyable car ride!

maryirene said...

that is a hard one, and one that you and marcus have to decide by yourselves. i'll admit though, i tend to make exceptions when it is 2 or 3 lbs off. elliot is 3 lbs under the requirement for the booster seat with no back. did i do it because he likes it? because i like it? because it saved us from having to buy another expensive carseat? i'm not sure what the exact motivation was, but there it is. i also turned elliot around at 1 year when he was only 18 lbs, i gave sammy cows milk at 11 months, etc. just listen to your heart and do what is best for ALL of you. Good luck! mi


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