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Car Seat Laws for small 7 year old

A B
Ottawa, Canada
3 posts
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Car Seat Laws for small 7 year old

I have a 7 year old daughter who weighs 38.5lbs and is 3'7" tall. I have been verifying car seat laws before we travel for my 3 daughters. We will be driving through South Carolina but the laws I have seen don't seem to clearly apply to my 7 year old. Everywhere else we are travelling allows higher ages for car seat uses when the children are within the proper weight and height range. She is currently in a forward-facing car seat and I would like to keep it that way but the laws in South Carolina have very specific ages and weight requirements with no in betweens.

Does anybody know if I will legally be able to keep her in her forward-facing car seat? If not what should I use???

Thanks.

I've copied the laws below.

ARTICLE 47.

CHILD PASSENGER RESTRAINT SYSTEM

SECTION 56-5-6410. Child passenger restraint systems; age and weight as basis for required restraining system; standards.

Every driver of a motor vehicle (passenger car, pickup truck, van, or recreational vehicle) operated on the highways and streets of this State when transporting a child five years of age or younger upon the public streets and highways of the State must provide an appropriate child passenger restraint system and must secure the child as follows:

(1) A child from birth up to one year of age or who weighs less than twenty pounds must be properly secured in a rear-facing child safety seat which meets the standards prescribed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

(2) A child who is at least one year of age but less than six years of age and who weighs at least twenty pounds but less than forty pounds must be secured in a forward-facing child safety seat provided in the motor vehicle which meets the standards prescribed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

(3) A child who is at least one year of age but less than six years of age and who weighs at least forty pounds but not more than eighty pounds must be secured by a belt-positioning booster seat. The belt-positioning booster seat must be used with both lap and shoulder belts. A booster seat must not be used with a lap belt alone.

(4) If a child is at least one year of age but less than six years of age and weighs more than eighty pounds, the child may be restrained in an adult safety belt. If a child less than six years of age can sit with his back straight against the vehicle seat back cushion, with his knees bent over the vehicle's seat edge without slouching, the child may be seated in the regular back seat and secured by an adult safety belt.

(5) A child who is less than six years of age must not occupy a front passenger seat of a motor vehicle. This restriction does not apply if the motor vehicle does not have rear passenger seats or if all rear passenger seats are occupied by other children less than six years of age.

Any child restraint system of a type sufficient to meet the physical standards prescribed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at the time of its manufacture is sufficient to meet the requirements of this article.

Greensboro, North...
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for Isle of Palms, Edisto Island, Charleston
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1. Re: Car Seat Laws for small 7 year old

You would probably be better served by calling the SC DMV directly, rather than take legal advice from strangers on the internet.

A B
Ottawa, Canada
3 posts
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2. Re: Car Seat Laws for small 7 year old

Thank you. I appreciate your concern and would not blindly accept any response as proper legal advice. I was hoping if somebody else had a personal experience with this that they were willing to share, I could then use their info as a starting point in my own research. Or they may be able to point me in the right direction where I could get an official response to my asnwer.

BTW, I did send an enquiry earlier to the appropriate contacts listed on South Carolina Department of Public Safety website but have not yet received a response.

Frankfurt, Germany
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3. Re: Car Seat Laws for small 7 year old

If I understand the law correctly, children 6 and up don't require any kind of child safety seat by law.

Since your child is 7 years old none of this applies to her, that being said I think that you can buckle her up, however you want.

No one forces you to NOT use a car seat.

I think no one can force you to put your child's life in danger...

If she is within the car seat's height and weight requirement, I don't see a problem.

A B
Ottawa, Canada
3 posts
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4. Re: Car Seat Laws for small 7 year old

Got a reply:

The South Carolina Child Passenger Law only covers children through the age of 6. Once a child is six years old they are only required to be in a seat belt. We would recommend that because of her being so small she remain in a convertible/five-point harness booster until she reaches at least 40 pounds. But, that is only a recommendation and not the law.

5. Re: Car Seat Laws for small 7 year old

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Removed on: 07 November 2013, 10:18