carseats in the US - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 01-11-2004, 06:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I know that in Canada all carseats need to be approved by the motor vehicle safety standard in order to be used in a car within Canada and was wondering if this is the same for the US.

I have two carseats and one isn't approved for use in Canada and one is. What I don't know is if the one that is approved for Canada is able to be used within the states as well.

We will be travelling to three different places within Canada and then from our last destination in Canada going straight to the states without coming home first.

So my dilemma is which car seat do I bring or will I need to bring both.

Does anyone know if carseats in the states have to be approved by any governing body???

Thanks in advance for any advice or links
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#2 of 5 Old 01-11-2004, 11:52 AM
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Well, I don't know what the official rules are, but I highly, highly doubt anybody would stop you, pull you over, and ask for state approval on the car seat. So long as the car seat is not obviously in bad condition, and so long as your child is strapped in, I would be very surprised if a police officer bothered to ask for state/provincial certification!

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#3 of 5 Old 01-11-2004, 12:28 PM
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I agree with piglet, NHSTA, at approves car seats...but as a canadian drive with canadian plates I'd be shocked if there's not an exemption. And most cops are simply looking to see your child is restrained, not at the fine print on the seat label.

Thay have a hotline during business hours, 1-888-DASH-2-DOT. If it's not usable from CA, let me know and I'll call them to get their direct-dial.
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#4 of 5 Old 01-21-2004, 12:49 PM
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I think that problems could potentially arise if 1)you had a very small child who was not restrained at all 2)you were in an accident and different carseat rules caused problems or 3)for some reason your child needed to be hospitalized in the US and your seat was deemed inappropriate (many hospitals and some emergency rooms will send someone out to check the carseat before they discharge a child, particularly one who had a head injury).

The important things to know are the carseat laws where you are going. For example, the law in Pennsylvania (where I live) is that a child must be restrained in a rear-facing seat until they are *at least* 12 months of age and 20 pounds. A child must be in (at least) a forward facing seat with a harness until they are 4 years old and (I believe) 35 pounds, and must be in (again, at least) a booster seat until they are at least 8 years old and 80 pounds. Find out what the laws are where you are going.. I'm sure there's a website, I'll see if I can find it for you (but I warn you, I'm horrible at web searches :LOL).

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#5 of 5 Old 01-21-2004, 01:19 PM
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Laws in all states require kids to be rear-facing until they are at least 1 year and 20 lbs. If your babe is under 20 lbs, I would rear-face the carseat (OT: it's actually safer for all kids to be rear-facing, but carseats usually dont allow it above 33 lbs or so (depends on the manufacturer).

Other than that, I agree that no policeman is going to a) know which carseats are approved in the US or b) be able to find out such information (like if you were pulled over for some other reason) in a timely fashion.

have fun on the trip!

A writer/runner/thinker/wife with two daughters (11/02 and 8/05), one dog, three cats, seven fish, and a partridge in a pear tree... in Vermont.
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