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Thread: For those of you with young children or grandchildren...

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    For those of you with young children or grandchildren...

    Hey guys. This is so off topic it's not even funny...so sorry, butI feel that it is important. As some of you know already, Foobaby turned 1 on Sunday. We have been trying to decide on the correct car seats for our kids...whether we should pass down Fookid's seats to Foobaby and get Fookid (he's 3) a booster. This was the preferred course of action due to car seat costs vs. the cost of a booster. The booster seats on the Graco website list that they have a minimum height of 38 inches and 30 pounds. Our son fits into this category...but that doesn't mean that he is safe. Long story short, we decided to keep Fookid in his Britax Marathon seat and get Foobaby the same. Since I purchased Foobaby's new seat I heard about this video. It's heartbreaking. A family thought that their son was safe in a booster...he was not. When I watched this video, I saw a link to another video about a similar story. I am posting both of the videos here as I feel that they are important for you to see. As someone that has lost a child due to a medical condition, I refuse to loose another child to an accident like this. We all love our children and want to do the best thing for them. We can't take something like this lightly.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azgBhZfcqaQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2LFo8vVi04

    edit: here is another link to a video for Isabelle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPBSEQ4xbTw
    Last edited by Foo2; 10-17-2007 at 09:48. Reason: the links didn't work.
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    Before you put your son in a booster double check with your local Police to see what the law is it could save you a fine.

    Buzz

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    Quote Originally Posted by BuzzF117 View Post
    Before you put your son in a booster double check with your local Police to see what the law is it could save you a fine.

    Buzz
    We chose to keep him in the 5 point harness convertible seat. And funny that you mention that, cause I did contact my local police department. I asked them what the "rules" were cause I had always heard 40lbs and 4 years old for boosters which was in contrast from the info on the Graco website....the officer that I spoke with said this, "Well, I'm not real sure what the actual "rule" is. I guess if the website says it's ok, it probably is. We don't exactly carry a scale with us in the car. You're probably not gonna get a ticket over it." WHAT?! I was calling him for information to keep my child from being injured or killed, I'm not worried about the ticket. Good grief. If the police don't even know what's safest....how the heck are we supposed to?
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    I do know that Europe has stricter rules for how long a child must sit facing the back of the car and how long they must stay in carseats versus booster seats. I have a friend that is very cautious about her kids and the 3 year old is still facing the back.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BuzzF117 View Post
    Before you put your son in a booster double check with your local Police to see what the law is it could save you a fine.

    Buzz
    We chose to keep him in the 5 point harness convertible seat. And funny that you mention that, cause I did contact my local police department. I asked them what the "rules" were cause I had always heard 40lbs and 4 years old for boosters which was in contrast from the info on the Graco website....the officer that I spoke with said this, "Well, I'm not real sure what the actual "rule" is. I guess if the website says it's ok, it probably is. We don't exactly carry a scale with us in the car. You're probably not gonna get a ticket over it." WHAT?! I was calling him for information to keep my child from being injured or killed, I'm not worried about the ticket. Good grief. If the police don't even know what's safest....how the heck are we supposed to?
    Thanks for bringing this topic to light, we also have a 13month old and this is of special interest to us.
    on keeping him in the 5 point harness!!

    However, I think the Police are least qualified to give accurate information on car seats. They are there for other primary purposes and even though they can and will enforce "rules" when it comes to child safety, it will more likely be for obvious reasons, such as a child not being buckled, or a baby that's not in a car seat, or other more obvious reasons. When it comes down to individual details for the many manufacturers of car seats, I can see the officers point of view. I would rely on reviews of the product from people that have used them, the manufactures description of proper use, and also if your vehicle has an anchor point for a car seat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loudgonzo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by BuzzF117 View Post
    Before you put your son in a booster double check with your local Police to see what the law is it could save you a fine.

    Buzz
    We chose to keep him in the 5 point harness convertible seat. And funny that you mention that, cause I did contact my local police department. I asked them what the "rules" were cause I had always heard 40lbs and 4 years old for boosters which was in contrast from the info on the Graco website....the officer that I spoke with said this, "Well, I'm not real sure what the actual "rule" is. I guess if the website says it's ok, it probably is. We don't exactly carry a scale with us in the car. You're probably not gonna get a ticket over it." WHAT?! I was calling him for information to keep my child from being injured or killed, I'm not worried about the ticket. Good grief. If the police don't even know what's safest....how the heck are we supposed to?
    Thanks for bringing this topic to light, we also have a 13month old and this is of special interest to us.
    on keeping him in the 5 point harness!!

    However, I think the Police are least qualified to give accurate information on car seats. They are there for other primary purposes and even though they can and will enforce "rules" when it comes to child safety, it will more likely be for obvious reasons, such as a child not being buckled, or a baby that's not in a car seat, or other more obvious reasons. When it comes down to individual details for the many manufacturers of car seats, I can see the officers point of view. I would rely on reviews of the product from people that have used them, the manufactures description of proper use, and also if your vehicle has an anchor point for a car seat.
    You're correct. The police are the least qualified. (No offense to any officers here. I know that your jobs are not to know every specific rule...but I felt that the 40lbs/4 year rule was a pretty important one to know.) I was at my end...I couldn't find accurate information ANYWHERE! Today I found this site though. It is called CPSafety.com It has very detailed guides on safety seats. Just thought I'd pass that along.
    Last edited by Foo2; 10-17-2007 at 11:09. Reason: I can't spell
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    We have always taken our cars and car seats to the local fire department to have them check install and evaluate them

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    Quote Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post
    You're correct. The police are the least qualified. (No offense to any officers here. I know that your jobs are not to know every specific rule...but I felt that the 40lbs/4 year rule was a pretty important one to know.)
    I know a lot of police officers (Doh!). I also know a lot of PARENTS. I can guarantee you that a larger percentage of PARENTS are unaware of their state's substantive laws regarding safety belts and child restraint laws than the percentage of OFFICERS.

    Quite frankly, I would expect PARENTS to know more - it's their children we're talking about. And, yes, I am a parent as well.

    I know that your jobs are not to know every specific rule...but I felt that the 40lbs/4 year rule was a pretty important one to know.)
    '40lbs/4year' is not (necessarily) a statutory rule or law. It may be a suggestion provided by the safety industry, but the actual laws differ from state to state. Therefore, expecting an officer to know the '40lbs/4 year rule' isn't a fair expectation.

    Here in MI, the law requires 0-3 year olds to be in an approved child restraint system. From 4 to 15, they must wear a safety belt no matter where they are seated in the vehicle. From 16 and up, they must wear one only if in the front seat (driving or passenger). Infractions for the first two result in a citation for the driver, while the last will result in a citation for the offender. There are no weight restrictions or requirements in our law. In addition, there is nothing in our law regarding any requirement for a 'booster' seat, either.

    As an officer, I expect parents to keep their kids buckled up. Generally speaking, the only people who need to worry are those who let their kids jump around the car, unbuckled, while it's on a public roadway. Other than that, we pretty much expect parents to do THEIR responsibility and know what their responsibilities are - legal AND common sense.

    I was at my end...I couldn't find accurate information ANYWHERE! Today I found this site though. It is called CPSafety.com It has very detailed guides on safety seats. Just thought I'd pass that along.
    Again, no offense, but with the ability to type a few words into a popular search engine and get back millions of hits on any subject, be it child safety laws or how to build a bomb, the LAST thing I'm going to do is ask someone else if they know something. It took me all of 5 seconds to type in "Michigan child safety seat requirements" into yahoo.com and come up with a matrix of the statutory law.

    I know the legal requirements about kids and cars MORE because I'm a PARENT, not because I'm an officer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reservecops View Post
    I know a lot of police officers (Doh!). I also know a lot of PARENTS. I can guarantee you that a larger percentage of PARENTS are unaware of their state's substantive laws regarding safety belts and child restraint laws than the percentage of OFFICERS.

    Quite frankly, I would expect PARENTS to know more - it's their children we're talking about. And, yes, I am a parent as well.
    No disputing here..I totally agree. There are lots of dumby parents out there. I agree that parents should know more, but don't you think that an officer should be clear on the rules or laws in his/her state? It appears that you know the laws in your area and I expect my local officers to know the laws as well.

    I know that your jobs are not to know every specific rule...but I felt that the 40lbs/4 year rule was a pretty important one to know.)
    '40lbs/4year' is not (necessarily) a statutory rule or law. It may be a suggestion provided by the safety industry, but the actual laws differ from state to state. Therefore, expecting an officer to know the '40lbs/4 year rule' isn't a fair expectation.
    I stand corrected. I knew that it wasn't a law, but I just thought that since it is a general rule, that most people would know that.

    I was at my end...I couldn't find accurate information ANYWHERE! Today I found this site though. It is called CPSafety.com It has very detailed guides on safety seats. Just thought I'd pass that along.
    Again, no offense, but with the ability to type a few words into a popular search engine and get back millions of hits on any subject, be it child safety laws or how to build a bomb, the LAST thing I'm going to do is ask someone else if they know something. It took me all of 5 seconds to type in "Michigan child safety seat requirements" into yahoo.com and come up with a matrix of the statutory law.
    No offense taken. I did look at the AAP website, TXDOT website, as well as the NHTSA website and couldn't find any "clear" guidlines on that issue. I finally found a page with "clear" guidlines on the State Farm website. Everything I was finding was very general and nothing said exactly what the guidlines were. I'm very black and white and wanted to know exactly what would keep my child the safest in the event of an accident. I was tired of finding statements like "usually" & "most". All I wanted to see was, "For x size and x weight, your child should be in x seat for optimal safety"

    I know the legal requirements about kids and cars MORE because I'm a PARENT, not because I'm an officer.
    Again, that was not to be a slam against officers. I feel that parents have to take responsiblity to learn what is best for their children. I was trying to do just that and was surprised when a local officer didn't know the laws in our area. Not only did he not know the laws, he thought I was just trying to get out of a ticket if an officer questioned me. It's not about the fine...it's about Fookid's safety. I'm glad to hear that you as a parent and officer have taken the time to educate yourself. I'm sure that if a parent asked you for the rules that you could give them a clear answer. We need more officers like you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post
    No disputing here..I totally agree. There are lots of dumby parents out there. I agree that parents should know more, but don't you think that an officer should be clear on the rules or laws in his/her state? It appears that you know the laws in your area and I expect my local officers to know the laws as well.
    On the surface, that most certainly is something that most people might expect. But there are other factors that people should take into account before generalizing ALL police officers into one group, especially with a specific expectation.

    What was the capacity of the officer that you spoke with? Was s/he a road officer who puts his time in on traffic enforcement? Or has s/he spent the last 10 years in narcotics, homicide, investigations, internal affairs, records, training, or special ops? If it was any of the latter, I'd never expect them to know anything about child safety seat laws.

    Expecting EVERY officer to be "clear on the rules or laws in his/her state" is a very broad expectation. That's like saying EVERY cook should know how to prepare ANY mean, be that person a short-order cook at the local greasy spoon or a chef at a five-star restuarant who is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in NY.

    I stand corrected. I knew that it wasn't a law, but I just thought that since it is a general rule, that most people would know that.
    I understand your position. But, again, as a PARENT I expect PARENTS to know what the recommendations from the manufacturers or SIGs when it comes to THEIR (our) kids. Police officers aren't paid to know what some company or industry group 'suggests'.

    No offense taken. I did look at the AAP website, TXDOT website, as well as the NHTSA website and couldn't find any "clear" guidlines on that issue. I finally found a page with "clear" guidlines on the State Farm website. Everything I was finding was very general and nothing said exactly what the guidlines were. I'm very black and white and wanted to know exactly what would keep my child the safest in the event of an accident. I was tired of finding statements like "usually" & "most". All I wanted to see was, "For x size and x weight, your child should be in x seat for optimal safety"
    Forget trying to go to a specific site (e.g., DOT, NHTSA, etc.) and THEN searching. When you do that, you limit yourself to ONLY what they might have. In this case, the statutory laws of TX aren't going to be found on the DOT or NHTSA site.

    Search engines like Yahoo! and Google are designed to allow you to type what you are looking for in plain English, just as if you were asking the question to a person. Then the SEARCH engine searches everything that it has cataloged - which is how you get millions of hits at a million different websites.

    Check this out: Go to Yahoo.com and search for the following:

    What are the laws in Texas for child safety seats?

    You'll get 2.7 million hits. On the first page alone, you'll see most of them are links to the actual text of the law at the Texas DPS and/or the actual State of Texas website.

    Search engines are your best friends for the Internet, IF you ask them the question correctly ...

    Again, that was not to be a slam against officers. I feel that parents have to take responsiblity to learn what is best for their children. I was trying to do just that and was surprised when a local officer didn't know the laws in our area. Not only did he not know the laws, he thought I was just trying to get out of a ticket if an officer questioned me. It's not about the fine...it's about Fookid's safety. I'm glad to hear that you as a parent and officer have taken the time to educate yourself. I'm sure that if a parent asked you for the rules that you could give them a clear answer. We need more officers like you.
    Understood, and I respect your opinions. I'm glad you are trying to be an informed parent, too!

    And, sure, there are some real winners in the ranks of police officers, but that goes for ANY profession. While there are some morons and some who might question your motives, most are NOT like this.

    Out of curiosity, what are the demographics of your city/town and of the law enforcement agency that you are referring to? The bigger the departments get, the less personable they seem to be (unfortunately).

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