Car seat requirement

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by california37, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. california37

    california37 Mouseketeer

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    hi all- sorry if this doesn't belong here but I couldn't think of where else to post my question!

    We are traveling to Miami in August and driving up to WDW - just wanted to check what the actual guidelines is for children and restraints in cars...
    my dd is 7 and currently 131cm tall. St home in the U.K. She still needs a high backed booster seat until she is 135cm or aged 12.
    I think I read online that children should be in a car seat until 5?

    She is comfortable in a seat with seatbelt (doesn't go over her face etc..correct position) I just wanted to check the law there!!

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Daniela Rose

    Daniela Rose Best. Day. Ever.

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    Florida Child Car Seat Laws
    It is the responsibility of the supervising adult to ensure that any child under 5 years old is seated in a federally-approved child car seat. Failure to do so could result in a $60 fine and 3 points against your driver's license.

    Florida law states:

    • Children 5 years old or younger must be secured in a federally approved child restraint system:
      • Children 3 years old and younger must use a separate car-seat or the vehicle's built-in child seat.
      • Children 4 through 5 years must sit in either a separate car seat, a built in child seat or a seat belt, depending on the child's height and weight.
    • Children 6 through 17 years old must be in a seatbelt.
    Though not required, the DHSMV recommends children 12 years old and under to ride in the back seat of the vehicle when possible. This is due to safety concerns for air bag deployment, which can be dangerous for young children.

    For more information on child safety seats and restraints, please visit the DHSMV guide to vehicle and child safety.
     
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  4. allysetraskos

    allysetraskos Allyse Grant

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    So my state has a law that those rules don't apply to licensed transportation vehicles like taxis or limos... I forget the exact terminology but that is how Taxi, bus and Limo drivers get away with not requiring carseats.
     
  5. Daniela Rose

    Daniela Rose Best. Day. Ever.

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    My state, NY, has that too. Florida taxis are not exempt from seat belt laws.
     
  6. joelkfla

    joelkfla DIS Veteran

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    Seat belts alone are not sufficient for children aged 4 or 5. Here is the language in the statute:
    The statute does exempt taxi & limo drivers from the law, but it seems to say parents are responsible for providing restraints in those vehicles; the language of that paragraph is a bit unclear.
    There's also quite a bit of debate as to whether or not that paragraph exempts Uber & Lyft drivers.
     
  7. danielocha30

    danielocha30 DIS Veteran

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    bring the booster seat on the airplane they will allowed, better be safe
     
  8. Gracie09

    Gracie09 DIS Veteran

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    You can travel with the booster seat but not use it on the plane. It can be gate checked
     
  9. Gracie09

    Gracie09 DIS Veteran

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    It seems that the parent or guardian would get the ticket or be responsible for complying with the law. But the act of being in a car for hire does not exempt them from the law
     
  10. california37

    california37 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for your responses!

    So according to the law-she doesn't need to be in any form of child seat being 7. She always travels in the back passenger seats and never in the front. And always with a seatbelt! We are wanting to use her 'holiday' booster seat for her younger sister who will be 3 (nearly 4)
    Travelling with 3 kids it would be easier to only have to bring 2 car seats. I just wanted to check that we were law compliant!
    Thanks again!
     
  11. NotUrsula

    NotUrsula DIS Veteran

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    FYI for others reading this: When reading US laws regarding "booster seats", it is important to know the legal definitions of them. For legal purposes, in the US, a "booster" seat is a child safety seat that LACKS an integral upper-body harness, even if it includes a high back. However, some high-back safety seats sold in the US may be marketed by the mfr. as a "booster seat" even if a harness is present, if it is possible to use it with the harness removed.

    High-back "booster" seats that do have an integral harness in place may be used aboard commercial aircraft operated by US-based carriers, provided that an aircraft-use certification sticker is present on it. A backless booster seat may be carried aboard US-based commercial aircraft, but must be placed under the seat or in the overhead bin during flight; the child cannot sit in such a seat while on the aircraft. (IME, backless booster seats that have adjustable armrests on them will only fit under the seat if the armrests are adjusted to the lowest possible position. High-back "booster" seats that lack any harness must be checked unless you can remove the back; with the back attached those will not fit into an overhead bin.) Also, FWIW, the FAA recommends the use of in-flight integral-harness car seats only for children who weigh less than 40 lbs.; at weights above that the lap belt protects the child at the same level as it would an adult. IME, children who are taller than 45 inches normally cannot sit in harnessed child safety seat in a coach aircraft seat -- the angle at which it places their bodies relative to the airline's seat pitch usually means that their legs will be unable to fit between their own seat and the seat in front.

    If the OP's daughter is 7 years old and tall enough to sit with her feet flat on the floor and her tush all the way back against the car's seatback cushion, she should be OK using a lap-shoulder belt in Florida. It won't be the optimal possible level of safety, but it will be perfectly legal under current Florida law. (Be careful to check the date when pulling copies of the law online; the age at which seat-belt only is permissible was raised to 6 by a 2015 change in Florida law. Copies of the old version of the law are still posted on lots of sites.)
     
  12. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    Thank goodness. Has anyone seen how the floridians and tourists interact on the Florida highways??? Yikes.

    Remember that cars here might be different than cars in the U.K. My son has always been tall but we carried the BubbleBum (thank you for that product, UK!) for travel until he wasn't probably 9, because there were some rental cars where the seatbelt was across his neck without it. He was even just in the seatbelt at home, because he fit in our car properly, but still needed the BB for some rentals.
     
  13. Dis703

    Dis703 DIS Veteran

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    I was going to mention this possible difference as well and emphasize that car seat laws in the US are sorely lacking and almost always behind actual safety recommendations. My son is turning 9 and tall for his age and still doesn't fit appropriately in just a seatbelt. Most kids are closer to age 12 before they do. There is a very handy graphic about this I'll see if I can find, but basically the lap belt should be over their lap not their tummy, the shoulder strap should be snug against them and in between their shoulder and neck and their knees should bend at the edge of the seat. In a touristy area with plenty of accidents I'd recommend making sure that she is going to have an appropriate fit of the seatbelt more than worrying about what may be legal or not. Even a backless booster or an inflatable like the Bubble Bum would be a good option if you think she may need it.
     
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  14. california37

    california37 Mouseketeer

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    We were in the world on Feb this year and brought her booster seat with us which we used. We tried her without it 'just to see' and she was fine although we continued to use it anyway since we had it. We rent a midsize SUV and will be doing again in August. I just wanted to check about the law as I didn't want to get fined or points unnecessarily!! We are traveling with a different carrier In August and there are more restrictions on what we can travel with etc.. that plus easier with one less seat to worry about (especially since we forgot to take them out of our car one year before borading the plane.... we got sorted tho!)
    Thanks again for your replies!!
     
  15. keishashadow

    keishashadow Proud Redhead...yes, I have some bananas!

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    I bought a bubble bum car seat for 6 y.o. GD. Well, not for her, for her friends, when i wind up transporting them. Tossed in trunk & used more than a few times. Makes it far easier to fit between 2 boosters in the back seat of my car.

    Considering taking it on next trip instead of lugging the high back booster. Sure would be easier to deflate & toss in carryon bag.
     

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