Car Safety in Montana

Ok, this is hard for me because I like to think of myself as a reasonable person. I think safety is an important issue but I get sick of being told what to do after a while. ABC posted this and it brought a few thoughts to my mind. I’m not sure I’m going to leave Cate in her rear-facing car seat until she’s 2. First of all, I want to be able to see her face easier. Half the time, my unsafe driving comes from trying to deal with a kid in a rear-facing car seat. (I admit it, my biggest fear while driving is that Cate will be choking on some random thing that was buried in the car seat and I won’t be able to tell because I can’t see her face. I know it’s silly but see it from my point of view! She has a really crazy gag reflex! Seriously!) Anyway, I’m not sure how I feel about having my 12 year old still in a booster seat. By the measurements they are using, more than just kids would be in car seats. I know some very awesome VERY SHORT adults that would be majorly offended if they were required by law to use a child’s booster seat.

One of the best inventions has been the car seat, not as much for the child’s safety in a car accident, as I have never been in one but for the plain reason that it prevents accidents from happening. When your child is strapped down, they can’t get in your way when you are driving. This has occurred to me sometimes in the house. I think, “Should I just bring the seats in here while I get the dishwasher loaded because Cate is unloading it as fast as I get stuff in!” No, I’m not that mean. I do encourage my kids to be helpful, albeit through clenched teeth sometimes.

I do, however, believe in doing what you can to be safe so that leaves me in a little dilemma. Here is the law according to the state of Montana:

Child Car Seat Laws

  • Kids under six or weighing less than 60 pounds must ride in a federally-approved safety seat or booster.
  • All other riders, regardless of age, must use a seat belt.

I’m just not sure where the happy medium is. When can I finally let my kid feel like a grown up and when should I insist that whatever the AAP (American Association of Pediatrics) says is what goes? We’ll see when we get there. For now, we’re just going to ponder these questions… and save a little money by not changing a thing as we are all fitting into our seats just fine. Well, Mommy is having difficulty because of the recent Girl Scout Cookie season but that will soon be in the past as the season of the BOB is fast approaching. This whole thing may be a moot point because gas prices are so high we won’t be able to drive for much longer anyway. Yeah for walking!


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4 responses to “Car Safety in Montana

  1. Yeah I just read the AAP’s statement and I agree.

  2. Lindsey Painter

    I’m frankly very concerned about the recent changes in the laws. My Emery is SOOOO underweight for her age that she’ll be in a booster seat till she’s in high school with the current laws! I just can’t do that to my kid. I’m sorry, but I would seriously consider breaking the law to preserve my child from social ridicule when they get so old. I KNOW they do it to save lives, but isn’t there a time when it becomes over-the-top ridiculous?
    And we turned Emery’s car seat around months before she was 20 pounds. She was like 14 or 15 months, but she was only about 16 pounds. But she get so car sick! I got tired of wiping vomit off the back the the back seat… There has to come a time when you weigh the safety with the practicality.

    • My opinion is, whatever you choose, you are the parent. If you care about your child, you will do what you think is safe and reasonable. I don’t think people who choose to follow the recommendations to the letter are nuts and I’d like them to not think I’m nuts for choosing not to follow every recommendation. I think there comes a time when we need to let parents be parents instead of the state being a parent. I wasn’t really concerned until I read that the federal government is considering changing it’s “standards” which confused me a bit. Does that mean it’s going to be the law?

      For now, after a short (very short) talk with Andy, we are leaving the kids in their seats. Our seat belts, if we tried to transition Abby to a simple booster with no cross belt thingy on the side, would go right across her face, which would be annoying for her. She’s also 3 so… no contest that she needs to be in a special seat for a while yet, if only for Mommy’s sanity in the car. Cate, however, is getting to tall to be rear facing much longer and she only just turned 1. She is also going to need the special seat with the cross belt thingy on the side as soon as I see that it crosses her chest and not her face. We will be trying that out soon as her feet are starting to press against the back seat. Maybe we will end up with two special boosters with the cross belt thingy for a while. We’ll see how the comfort level is.

      I’m amazed at the firestorm this has caused on the internet – not that I’m not a part of it. LOL! It’s just interesting. Until the next craze, safe driving and best wishes to all!

  3. Lindsey Painter

    Oops… should have spell and grammar checked that last post!

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