Spartanburg Moms

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SC Car Seat law makes new AAP recommendation illegal?!?!

South carolina's car seat law clearly states that 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.

The new recommendation by the American Association of Pediatrics recommends children stay rear-facing until age 2. And I know plenty of people (like me) who choose to keep their 1-year-olds rear-facing just till they are a little bigger. If the legislation clearly states that Over 1 and 20 lbs MUST forward face, does that mean people who choose to rear-face in the state of South Carolina can get in legal trouble?

All of this was posted on a national baby board I visit. I thought surely this is just one of those laws that is enforced so that people just keep their kids in an appropriate car seat. FF or RF should not matter. Well, then someone responded saying she WAS ticketed for having her 18-month-old RF! She was stopped for a busted tail light and the cop asked her how old her child was. When she told him she got a $150 ticket for violation of SC car seat law. She tried to appeal it, but the judge said there was nothing to appeal because the law clearly said that OVER age 1 had to be FF. That is just insane.

I plan on calling safe kids this week about this. What do you all think?

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I will not be turning my 12 1/2 month old around any time soon.  I don't care what the "law" says.  This is the craziest thing ever.  I said WHAT out loud when I read this!!!  :)  I rear faced my oldest until he was 18 mos and plan to do a minimum of 2 years for my little one.  They definitely need to change the law on this one.  I agree with you that they were probably trying to say the children must be in a carseat, but obviously they didn't know anything about actual car seat safety...  CRAZINESS...
I waited until nearly 18 months for my daughter as well - she didn't mind riding backwards and I knew it was much safer. It's crazy to think SC wouldn't follow the AAP recommednations to the letter. Let us know what you find out!

The person who said she was ticketed did not respond to my question as to what county she lived in. I'd like to know that before I call anyone about this. And the new age 2 rec has only been out for a few months. So the legislature needs to change wording to reflect this. All they need to say is that kids under 1 MUST be in a RF and children older than than can either be in FF or RF. The way it is written is confusing. It doesn't say anything about 5 pt harness vs. booster. Or backed booster vs. backless booster. I also know people who moved their kids to booster seats too early. My older son is almost 4. He is perfectly happy in his 5 pt harness. Some people might think I am being over protective, but after being involved in an accident and worrying that it may result in a miscarriage (I was very early along) and wondering what would have happened to my older son if he had been in the car......well, my baby is staying rear-facing and his big brother won't know a booster for another year or so!


I know someone in Greenville who was in an accident with her 15-month-old. He was rear-facing still and the police officer said she was smart to keep him rear-facing and it saved him from injury. Both she and her husband up front and 5-year-old in backseat were all injured (nothing too serious). The toddler was fine. Hearing that and being in an accident myself when I was pregnant with my second son has me more on edge about car seat safety. We turned our older son FF as soon as he turned a year old (and was like 24 lbs).  But I have no plans on moving younger son forward any time soon. He is little anyway and was 2 ounces below 20 lbs anyway at his year appointment. So if a cop ever asks me his age, I'll tell, but then add that he is only in the 10th percentile for height and weight and for his own safety he is staying turned around! And if I ever get a ticket, I'd probably turn it into my personal mommy mission to get the law changed!!!

I bought a Radian so that my now 5 year old can stay in a 5pt harness until he is 8 years old! 


My son is 18 months and I just recently turned him around FF. (That was just because my husband said it was time... and I was tired of arguing with him about it. He is 26lbs too) I may get my way soon and have him back rear facing. 

My daughter has been riding in a FF seat for a while now, ever since she turned 1. I don't consider myself a bad mother for it but as soon as my son is old enough to FF at the age of 1, he's gettin turned around too.  I don't really understand how it's any safer for a child to be facing the back glass of the car? If you get rear ended and the back glass comes in on them, it's nothing but bad news. At least facing forwards, there's a seat there to maybe give some protection. I'd much rather have something in front of them that's cushioned instead of shards of glass flying into their faces. I don't know because I've not done alot of research, but it actually seems safer to me that they be FF. Not to mention, what if they're rear facing and they start choking? With sounds of the highway and in town, you might not hear them and if they can't talk, how are you to know if they're RF and you can't see them? My 7 month old is RF and I wouldn't be able to see anything if it were happening because of his clunky car seat and I don't think that's safe either.


Cooper was a HUGE baby...I turned him at 9 months.  He had exceeded the weight limit on his carrier.  I already had another set and it didn't go RF.  Do I feel bad about it?  NO!  Would I had something bad happened?  YES! 


Seeger was a smaller (average) baby...I turned him at a year. 


To each their own.  I have read numerous things telling me to keep them RF longer.  But to me, it's a personal choice.  Now if the AAP and laws change to extend RF'ing until age 2, I will still have Seeger FF.  The seat I have only goes FF.  I'm not about to buy another $100+ seat just to use for a few months. 


Amber, you're not a bad mom...bc if you are, then so am I!  Like I said, it's a personal choice.  You waited to do what the law told you to do.  So you are better than I was!

Thanks Shanna! I was worried about what the other mom's would have to say about my opinion but I'm glad you feel the way I do.


By no means was I infering anyone is a bad parent for turnin their child FF! I didn't mean that at all! I was just shocked that someone got a ticket for RF their toddler when the American Association of Pediatrics recommends age 2. And that the SC law goes against this new rec. I agree to each their own as long as it is a safe, appropriate car seat. And some kids are too big to RF. I turned my older on FF at age 1 just because I thought you had to. But since the car accident I was in, I'm just more aware and nervous about car safety. And with my 1-year-old being a small child, I'm in no rush to FF him. He's happy back there. I can see him with the mirror on the rear seat and he happily chats to his big brother. But till age 2? I don't know. I have a feeling he'll get restless by 18 months!


I think everyone has a hot spot with stuff with their kids. For me it is car seats and naps. My kid love their sleep and we do not mess around with naptime! For other friends it is stuff like schedule, food, breastfeeding, etc. And like everything, it is to each their own!

I knew you weren't calling a bad parent, Katie.  I just wanted Amber to know that she isn't alone in turning kids before age two!  I still love you!  LOL!  :)

Oh I didn't take it that way at all Katie. I was just afraid of what some may think in the back of their minds. LOL I know how some parents are and get all excited and freak out when someone says things like that. I can't believe someone got a ticket like that either. That's crazy. Sounds like somebody should make up their minds. How are mother's to know what to do if they don't make it clear. And I have my hot spots too. My kids started eating real foods alot sooner than most believe is appropriate and I think my choice is what made my 2 year old want to eat broccoli for breakfast and eat up some salad like I've never seen a toddler do. LOL Everyone has their own opinion just was afraid some would disagree with what I said because I know how some mothers react to differences. But not you Katie... just the website in general. Didn't want a storm of angry moms coming to turn my kids car seat around. LOL 

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