Sunday, May 16, 2010

Car Seat woes....

We had a fantastic weekend. It started out by Papa and Mama coming over and getting the bugs. They took them out to dinner and to the park. They had so much fun, and it also allowed me and Redmosqui to go out to dinner. We enjoyed beer (him) and margaritas (me) and came home. Saturday we attended a birthday party at Zootastic park. The bugs got to feed animals and ride ponies. They had a blast! Redmosqui did some much needed work around the yard and house. Put an extra shelf in bugs room for her new collectibles from her pottery painting experience on her birthday. Today we just relaxed, I went to Brusters Ice Cream shop (my favorite) so we could have a mini ice cream party at the house before I go to work. And now bug, bee and Redmosqui are all enjoying a nap. And that led me to post about car seats. On the way back from Zootastic park (about 40 minute ride) I didn't like the way bee was slumped over so we've switched her seat... yet again.

Rules and regulations for car seats vary by state and do change almost yearly. Ours recently changed here. And generally by the age of 3, depending on height and weight... also as we've discovered recently, by body type. We have a plethora of car seats at my house right because none of them seem to work right for our bee. At 38 inches tall, and 27lbs... she's not a match for any of them. We've bought several different ones, even the ones that you have to buy the back separately from the website, only to find.... the back isn't sold any longer. So we've had to go back to her original one piece, forward facing seat, and just use the seat belt. The all in ones wouldn't work for her either. The ones that state they grow with the child. She doesn't fit quite right in any of them and that makes me nervous while on the road. Especially if she slumps over because she falls asleep in the car. (Our spare seats, thankfully, will be placed in the stow and go of the minivan because next school year we'll have guests in the car for carpooling back and forth to school.)

With that, there isn't a real way to test out a car seat before you purchase and use it several times. Unfortunately, by that point it's too late to return the seat. We have 2 cars here and we now have 7 car seats. 3 with no back. 2 with the optional back that doesn't really exsist but it has the clamp for the seat belt to stay behind the shoulder. Again, that doesn't really work if the child falls asleep. We even called the company and they don't have them for that particular seat even though it was advertised in the manuel, and then we have the all in ones. None are perfect. So we've reverted back to the All in ones and use the seat belt with it instead of the 5 point harness. That one seems to be the lesser of the evils and hopefully she'll be more comfortable using these with the seat belt. Another plus is that we can continue to use the latch system.

Know your car and booster seat laws by checking out this link:

Georgia is the most lax and allows you to have them out of car and booster seats by age 6 but they still have to ride in the back seat.

Hawaii is the most interesting because it allows you a $25 tax credit each year towards the purchase of safer seats and if the law is violated, you'll be fined and required to go to a 4 hour class. It would also put points on your license.

It's a good thing to know and you never know when you'll be able to answer someone else when they ask. Our laws used to go all the way up to 100lbs. Now it goes up to 80 pounds or age 8. So, 3 more years for bug to be in a car seat. I doubt she'll be 80lbs by then. She's 5 and still 38lbs. Bee is just special I guess. Most 1 year olds weigh more than she does and she'll be three and a half in a couple of weeks. Car seats have come a long way in the last 10 years. They've evolved just as much as cars have so maybe soon there will be a completely customizeable seat for children who are bigger or smaller than normal growth patterns. Or who knows... cars may come with seats that are adjustable by height and weight of the child so that the seat belt is just right. THAT I would pay to have. :)

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