Car seat regulations in the U.S.

(9 Posts)
wtffgs Sat 27-Jun-15 15:03:28

We are going to the States with DCs 10 and 8. The 10 yo is nowhere near the minimum height to not have a child car seat in the UK. I rang the airline to ask if I could check my own in. The woman I spoke to was both clueless and snotty. hmm

Im not just concerned about the legal side of things. I would like to keep my kids safe! We are visiting people who do not have young kids. Should we buy seats there and hopefully internal flights will be more accommodating? Any of the MN U.S. contingent can advise?thanks

AlpacaMyBags Sat 27-Jun-15 15:04:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bobajob Sat 27-Jun-15 15:07:40

Maybe they could take Trunki seats as hand luggage?

tomatodizzymum Sat 27-Jun-15 15:08:12

They both need a booster. You can pick up very very cheap boosters in the USA. We flew there with our children and asked relatives to pick up a couple, we offered them the money but they said it wasn't needed. It was about $5-10 for a booster. You can probably get a booster in the suitcase if you have space, if it's small and light.

I'm pretty sure all the state laws are strict and if I remember the seats have to meet certain US federal safety requirements. Not likely that this will be checked, but you never know.

wtffgs Sat 27-Jun-15 15:18:52

Wow! Quick replies!!
NY CA and TX. My concern about the seat-only boosters is that they don't offer any side-impact protection. I'm pretty sure one of the consumer organisations wants them banned here for that reason. We will be using cars a lot.

tomatodizzymum Sat 27-Jun-15 16:48:53

hire companies have seats, are you hiring? The problem with car seats and planes is that they are classed as extra luggage but you can still take them. My Graco one comes into two peices and fits in a suitcase with clothes packed around. No reason not to take a back booster and less clothes for both of them.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 27-Jun-15 18:12:35

I did some google research.

TX car seat law:-

You must secure any child under 8 years old in a federally approved child car seat while operating the vehicle, unless the child is more than 4'9" tall.

CA regulations:-

Children between 1-8 years (or heaver than 20 pounds) must be in in the back seat (some exceptions apply) and strapped into either:
- A rear-facing car seat until they reach the maximum height/weight limit for the seat
- A front-facing car seat with a 5 point harness until they reach the maximum height/weight limit for the seat
- A booster seat if under 4 feet 9 inches (1.45 meters) and over the height/weight limit for a car seat
- A regular seat belt in the back seat if taller than 4 feet 9 inches.

Children 8 years and older legally are not required to use a car or booster seat (though booster seats are still recommended for shorter children until they fit a seat belt properly). However, they are required to use a seat belt and remain in the rear seat.

NY regulations:-

New York State law requires that
•all children under the age of 4 ride in child safety seats
•all children ride in child restraint systems until their 8th birthday

Safety seats and child restraint systems must be certified according to Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standard 213. Follow the instructions of the manufacturer of the seat or system, and make sure you install and use the seat or system correctly

Once the kids are out of the boosters they don't have any side impact protection. Which here in CA most kids are at your children's ages.

Our car has side impact air bags in the rear so if they are tall enough or on boosters they have that.

Car rental companies sometimes have seats to rent. Our experience when our kids were younger was that they were cheap seats that looked very well used, not very safe or clean looking.

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