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Children's Car Seats

Children's Car Seats

Old May 30th 2019, 10:24 am
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Default Children's Car Seats

Hiya,

We're currently starting the process of moving to Maryland from the UK with my husbands work (we'll be moving on L1 and L2 visas). We're trying to think through everything we need to sort out before the move and are currently discussing car seats for our two children (7 and 2). I've read in a few places that UK car seats conform to different testing standards than US ones and may invalidate our insurance if we were to take them with us and use them over there. Is this true? We're happy to buy new ones out there if needed, we just want to know if we definitely have to or not.

Thank you
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Old May 30th 2019, 10:47 am
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Default Re: Children's Car Seats

Buy new car seats in the state you're living in to make sure it meets all the regulations.
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Old May 30th 2019, 11:22 am
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Default Re: Children's Car Seats

I believe the anchors and the anchoring system for car seats is different, unless the seat relies on the seatbelt, as one of our did. Your seven year old may be about to age-out of the requirements (but they vary by state, so you should check for the rules in MD), though depending on his size it might make sense to keep him/her in a booster seat until he/ she grows out of the requirements (typically states specify an age and size , which may be expressed as height or weight) which is what we did with out daughter.

Last edited by Pulaski; May 30th 2019 at 11:32 am.
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Old May 30th 2019, 3:48 pm
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Default Re: Children's Car Seats

As others have said , each State decides on car seat laws and they are mostly the same. No surprise there. However I went looking to see if any of them mandated car seats must meet federal standards since that would be the one that precludes the use of an EU certified car seat.
https://drivinglaws.aaa.com/tag/child-passenger-safety/
seems to provide the most comprehensive answer and it looks like only Maine stipulates that the car seat meets federal standards.
Saying that, I wouldn't want the possible extra hassle created by an insurance company in the case of an accident. Not for the relatively little cost of a new car seat. I would use my own over the rental car company's though and would just buy a new seat as soon as I could
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Old May 30th 2019, 4:31 pm
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Default Re: Children's Car Seats

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
….. . I would use my own over the rental car company's though and would just buy a new seat as soon as I could
This!
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Old May 30th 2019, 7:22 pm
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Default Re: Children's Car Seats

Thank you so much everyone, I think we'll go down the route of buying new ones once we're out there to avoid any unnecessary complications. Good advice about taking our own instead of renting for the short term, will do that!
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Old May 30th 2019, 8:06 pm
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Default Re: Children's Car Seats

Someone correct if I wrong. UK child seats do not have a strap that goes across the chest, US ones do. That I was told by AAA makes each one illegal in the other country.
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Old May 30th 2019, 8:26 pm
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Default Re: Children's Car Seats

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
Someone correct if I wrong. UK child seats do not have a strap that goes across the chest, US ones do. That I was told by AAA makes each one illegal in the other country.
Well, this is what I was trying to figure out.... most of the state laws don't mention that the seats must adhere to the federal standard - the exception was Maine. The federal standard ( equivalent to the CE mark) is FMVSS 213 The full particulars are here https://carseat.org/Legal/FMVSS213.pdf
If you fancy having a read through the 44 pages... then I'd love to get a definitive answer.
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Old May 30th 2019, 8:31 pm
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Default Re: Children's Car Seats

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
Someone correct if I wrong. UK child seats do not have a strap that goes across the chest, US ones do. That I was told by AAA makes each one illegal in the other country.
I just Googled <UK child car seats>, read the .gov.uk info, and looked the Google pictures - the guidance covers all three sorts of chlld seats that we had at different times for little Miss P, and the photos (per Google, photos tab) all show seats that match one of the seats that we had for little Miss P - notably multi-point harness when she was small, then late the three point style, using the vehicle's seatbelt. I guess they probably lacked the right code number stamp, but functionally they appear to meet the UK seat regs.
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Old May 30th 2019, 8:42 pm
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Default Re: Children's Car Seats

oh dear, I really should be working but instead have gone down the internet rabbit hole on this one!
Trying to find authoritative sources.....https://csftl.org/chest-clip-myths-busted/https://csftl.org/chest-clip-myths-busted/
this one looks half way decent and seems to say that you can use an EU seat in the USA but not vice versa due to the extra chest clip that is on US seats.
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Old May 31st 2019, 5:59 pm
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Default Re: Children's Car Seats

I spent 2 years as a crash investigator for NHTSA. Occasionally we’d have an accident involving a child restraint and would have to document it quite extensively. One thing I never recall seeing is any kind of DOT sticker. Unlike something like a motorcycle helmet, I do not believe a child restraint has to have any sort of DOT sticker or reference.
With regards to fitting the seat, LATCH is a worldwide thing. we had no issues fitting our daughters child restraint that we took with us in the U.K. hire car. Wasn’t aware of the T bar ban in Europe, but looking at the seats available for sale in the U.K, non have t bars so you learn something new everyday.
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Old Jun 1st 2019, 3:51 am
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Default Re: Children's Car Seats

Originally Posted by markonline1 View Post
I spent 2 years as a crash investigator for NHTSA. Occasionally we’d have an accident involving a child restraint and would have to document it quite extensively. One thing I never recall seeing is any kind of DOT sticker. Unlike something like a motorcycle helmet, I do not believe a child restraint has to have any sort of DOT sticker or reference.
With regards to fitting the seat, LATCH is a worldwide thing. we had no issues fitting our daughters child restraint that we took with us in the U.K. hire car. Wasn’t aware of the T bar ban in Europe, but looking at the seats available for sale in the U.K, non have t bars so you learn something new everyday.
In my reading, UK/EU car seats must have only 1 click opening so that extra clip on the USA one means they don't conform to EU standards.
So, does this mean that UK car seats are ok here in the USA? I think I'd rather err on the side of caution but Markonline, do you think it's necessary to buy another one?
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Old Jun 1st 2019, 5:36 pm
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Default Re: Children's Car Seats

petitefrancaise The secondary difference, if you read into the back story to the clip, is that the straps in Europe are made of a different material so they don't slide off the child's shoulders.
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