Maryland-Legislation introduced to align law with AAP guidelines

christineka

New member
Instead of the 4'9" inch rule, it would be better to put in the 5 step test, like CA did, because nearly everyone knows of an adult who is shorter than 4'9".
 
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jeminijad

New member
I would like to see such a law specifying RF till 2 or the seat is outgrown, to cover the outliers. I don't think parents should be forced into buying 1 specific model of high $$ seat, not even available in person in half the country, just because their 18 month old weighs 41 lbs.
 

mommaof2boys

New member
I would like to see such a law specifying RF till 2 or the seat is outgrown, to cover the outliers. I don't think parents should be forced into buying 1 specific model of high $$ seat, not even available in person in half the country, just because their 18 month old weighs 41 lbs.

As long as the outgrown seat isn't a snugride 22 or other lower-weight infant seat, I agree. Since there are affordable seats up to 35 lbs, it might be better going with something like 35 lbs and outgrown, or 2 years.
 

NannyMom

Well-known member
Thank you for your support! To help this bill pass through the Maryland General Assembly, you can contact your legislators and express your reasons for supporting the bill. Go to this website to determine which Senators and Delegates serve your district: http://mdelect.net/ . I've attached MedChi's talking points, in case you would like to use them.
You can also attend the hearing for SB 185, which is currently scheduled for February 14th at 1:00pm in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.
Please let me know if there's anything else I can do to help.

These were the attached talking points:

CHILD SAFETY SEAT REFORM

The Problem: Child passenger safety has dramatically evolved over the last decade. Maryland’s current child safety seat requirements do not meet current Federal recommendations. Failure to properly restrain children in motor vehicles is a leading cause of injury and death in children, particularly under the age of 16. Maryland has been a leader in advancing motor vehicle safety policies yet Maryland’s current child safety seat requirements fail to recognize current standards.

The Solution:
Enact legislation that adopts the new recommendations of the federal government and other relevant industry and safety groups for child safety seats and positions within a vehicle. New recommendations include: keeping children in rear-facing child seats until age 2; basing a child’s need for a safety seat on age and height, not on weight; and prohibiting a child under the age of 13 from riding in the front seat.

The Objections and Background Safety legislation often raises objections from those that believe people should be free to make their own choice even if it imperils themselves, their family members or the public. Parental autonomy is a common objection to laws that compel parents to take prescribed actions with regard to their children. Some will argue that seats that provide room for rear-facing until age 2 are too expensive or not readily available for all families. However, the new recommendations are based on significant and compelling scientific evidence that will save children’s lives. The adolescent seat position and elimination of current weight parameters do not require families to expend funds and dramatically increase the safety of our children.

What You Should DO Call/Write/Email members of Senate Judicial Proceedings and House Environmental Matters Committee and ask them to sponsor and support legislation.
 

NannyMom

Well-known member
As long as the outgrown seat isn't a snugride 22 or other lower-weight infant seat, I agree. Since there are affordable seats up to 35 lbs, it might be better going with something like 35 lbs and outgrown, or 2 years.

There are affordable seats that go to 40RF. The Scenera 40RF is very affordable. I'd like to see it say until 40 pounds if they are going to throw in a weight.
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
Yeah, they could do "must RF until 2 years old unless the child exceeds 40 lbs. before 2 years old" or something... I'm sure there's a better way to word it, though. It's a thinker, for sure.
 

mommaof2boys

New member
Is the 40RF Scenera available in many places, or just Target? If it's readily available, then yeah 40lbs is better.

ETA: I just saw another post about the Cosco Apt, which I guess is another affordable 40RF seat. Nice to see the limits creeping up.
 

mimieliza

New member
They should just write into the legislation that the child must rear-face until age 2 or until they exceed the capacity for the convertible seat. I have a 40 lb. Roundabout that was outgrown by height at 16 months or so - I would not want to enact a law that required people to replace their convertible seats. Even if it is ideal, I think it is a burden for most families. Generally, most seats on the market nowadays will keep kids RFing to at least 18 months to 2 years, and the shorter shelled, lower weight seats are generally older seats that will move out of circulation (particularly if GRACO stops making the darned ComfortSport).
 

safeinthecar

Moderator - CPS Technician
There will be a mini revolt in my van. Borrowed kid is 9yrs old, and 85 pounds, and passes the 5 step test in most vehicles. But I think she's only 4ft 2.

Are you sure on the height there? 4'2" is only 50 inches. That puts her in the 12th percentile for height and the 90th percentile for weight. I can see a kid fitting some cars at only 50 inches, but not most cars.
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
michelle, I like that.

While we're making best-practice type laws, can we make a law that proper use specifically includes using a seat past the manufacturer-designated expiration date? Oh, and make it illegal to sell or distribute expired seats.
 

NannyMom

Well-known member
Are you sure on the height there? 4'2" is only 50 inches. That puts her in the 12th percentile for height and the 90th percentile for weight. I can see a kid fitting some cars at only 50 inches, but not most cars.

Nope, I was going off what SHE told me before. And when I was discussing this with her yesterday, she said she is 4;8. So I think today I will actually measure her.


Well, now I'm not sure about this whole thing. I spoke withthe carseat lady today about it. And from an email send to CPSP list from a member of KISS, this may not be wholehearted supported by KISS. Something that was pointed out is there needs to be an allowance in the law for times when a child under 13 MUST be in the front seat.
 

emtb79

New member
:eek: Ok, this excites me....alot! I'm sure there's a downside...and someone here will point it out. What if.... what if..... the child outgrows the RF seat before 2? What if they don't have the money to buy a bigger seat? I've known a child that was 40lbs at his 2yr check up. Would he have outgrown the Scenera?

ETA: WHO should I be calling/emailing to support this????

I have that 2 year old was 45lbs when I got him last fall.
 

NannyMom

Well-known member
Alrighty people. I need links to evidence (not just youtube videos) and studies for rear facing until 2, booster until 4'9 and back seat until 13.
 

carseatcoach

Carseat Crankypants
There will be a mini revolt in my van. Borrowed kid is 9yrs old, and 85 pounds, and passes the 5 step test in most vehicles. But I think she's only 4ft 2.

Nope, I was going off what SHE told me before. And when I was discussing this with her yesterday, she said she is 4;8. So I think today I will actually measure her.

A child who is 4'2" (50") and 85# will appear to be a wide child. A child who is 4'8" (57") and 85# will be fairly average in build. Precise measurements don't matter as much as whether she actually passes the 5-step test, but just looking at her will give you an idea of whether she's closer to 4'2" or 4'8".

As to the OP, I would be comfortable with 2 years or 35# to forward-face. I know the 40RF Scenera exists, but some parents still have unexpired 35# convertibles and I don't think they should HAVE to buy new seats. I think they should WANT to, but I don't think we should legislate that. My CPST self frequently quarrels with my smaller-government self.
 

NannyMom

Well-known member
A child who is 4'2" (50") and 85# will appear to be a wide child. A child who is 4'8" (57") and 85# will be fairly average in build. Precise measurements don't matter as much as whether she actually passes the 5-step test, but just looking at her will give you an idea of whether she's closer to 4'2" or 4'8".

She is a wide child.
 

NannyMom

Well-known member
For anyone interested, I think I found the actual working of the law. It's a pdf and I can't link to it. But if you go here and scroll all the way to the bottom you can click "bill text" and read it.

It looks like it's not just boosters until 4'9. It's until 8 years or 4'9 (erasing the current "or 65 pounds"). It also says that if all seats are full, the front can be used (that's MY understanding of it). And that a doctor's note can be obtained for those that need an exemption. It's a fine of $25 not a moving violation. If more than 1 child is improperly restrained, it shall be treated as just 1 (boo!). And a judge can waive the fine if the driver didn't have a seat and can prove that they have since obtained one.
 

SignCuer

New member
As to the OP, I would be comfortable with 2 years or 35# to forward-face. I know the 40RF Scenera exists, but some parents still have unexpired 35# convertibles and I don't think they should HAVE to buy new seats.

I would have to disagree with you. "2 years OR 35 lbs to forward face".. I know many 12-18 months who's 35lbs already so that kinda defeats the purpose of rear-facing until 2. Honestly, today I believe there's only a handful that goes to 35lbs.. most are 40 lbs so really parents going out and dropping 40 bucks on a 40RF Scenera should not be an issue. I have seen way too many cars, mostly fancy schmacy cars who have this expired seats or...it sickens me to the core. I don't judge people for whatever reason, but this really bothers me.

Personal opinion, it should say RFing to 2 without a weight limit or have reached the weight limit/height limit. If this law passes, we should be willing to pass out 40RF Sceneras to those parents who can't afford seats otherwise to keep their child RFing. I know I will. I have done so, and will still continue to do it because most kids will reach 2 in the Scenera. Most. Heck, I still have a 4 yr old RFing in the 40 Scenera. Normal torso. :D

As for booster- I would rather see 4'9 inches/5 step test or have reached a certain age point such as 13 since that's mostly the puberty point. This gives them an opporunity to either pass the 5 step test before then or wait until 13 then that will actually officially get them out of the booster.

if there's no seat available in the back, then the child will be properly restrained in the front with rules like sitting all the way back with whatever restraints they need except rearfacing. So if there is a 8 year old, who don't pass the 5 step test and the car is full, he will need to be in a booster seat in the front.

I also believe we should have a stricter fine/point for noncompliance.

This all seems fair since it will give the parents a strict guideline but give some leeway if needed but being strict at the same time.

As for MD Kiss, I know the people there and very close to one of them. I'll talk to her and see what she think and we can talk to each other about it.

I really want to see this law passed since we have an extreme diverse population, which most are African Americans and Hispanics. I have seen really horrible seat use. I do try to help but it's hard. If the law passes then they will have no other choice except to follow it.
 

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