Motherly Law Year in Review: Updated Posts re: BPA, Bike Helmets, Pool Drains, Birth Centers and Car Seats
Parenting is largely trial and error, a learn-as-you-go, kind of job. It's been my experience that many times a well-thought-out plan for dealing with a developing issue or setting a goal or laying down the law may not work or have an unintended consequence and must be re-worked to some degree.
This is also the case with the law. As I have mentioned in the past, the law is ever-changing depending on current trends, new research, new technologies, and old lessons learned. Laws are passed, amended and repealed every year; for better or worse.
Therefore, due to changes in laws, guidelines and recommendations over the last year, there are several posts that need to be updated. Here are a few words regarding the changes for each one of these posts, plus links to the changed, updated information. The posts themselves have also been updated with new links, etc.
My second post on ML was about BPA-free products and the laws banning this chemical in certain items. Most of the state laws in place regulate BPA in baby/child products. GreenBiz.com reports "17 states and the District of Columbia will be looking at new legislation to ban BPA from baby bottles, infant formula packaging, receipt paper or a combination of items." Currently, ME, MA, MN, CT, WA, NY, VT, WI and MD have state laws in place banning such products.
Many women are turning to alterative choices when it comes to where to have babies and who is delivering babies. One choice that seems to be gaining popularity is a birth center. A birth center provides a homelike, comfortable setting in which to give birth with a midwife overseeing the pregnancy and delivery. Birth Centers are often covered by major health care plans and are an attractive alternative to a home birth or at the opposite spectrum, a hospital birth, for those who feel a hospital is too invasive and uncomfortable. Over the past year, accredited birth centers have been popping up all over the country. Click here for a current list of accredited birth centers.
There's been some discussion over whether bike helmet laws and recommendations are causing kids who can't afford helmets or find them "uncool" to simply stop riding bikes. This result, of course, was not what was intended by lawmakers who passed these state laws requiring helmets to ride bikes, scooters, skate boards, etc.
Regardless, 21 states, plus District of Columbia have bike helmet laws, covering various ages. Here is a table and accompanying maps that show what the helmet laws are for each state, whether it's for motorcycles, scooters or other low-power cycles and bikes.
Pool Drain Safety
Last summer, I wrote about the new mandatory pool drain covers that were meant to ensure that people, and in particular, children could not become trapped under water or disemboweled by broken/malfunctioning pool drains. However, just last week there were reports that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is investigating whether the pool drain covers were improperly tested. After issuing subpoenas to three independent laboratories, the CPSC is reviewing more than 17,000 pages of documents to learn more about their testing methods.
Pool & Spa News reports, "The investigation has revealed that the testing protocols used by some laboratories may have been improper and, as a result, some covers certified by these laboratories may not comply with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act." This means that some drain covers may not have accurate flow ratings and may not prevent entrapment. CPSC is trying to have finished this investigation by the start of pool season, but warns pool owners to keep children away from drains, especially the shallow areas.
While my posts on car seats have been focused on booster seat laws and finding the car seat that best fits your car, there are new guidelines for rear-facing seats. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now recommends that infants remain in rear facing seats until 2 years of age or until reaching the maximum weight or height allowed for the rear-facing infant, convertible or 3-in-1 seat being used. This recommendation may seem extreme, especially for those who have giant toddlers like I did, but it's based on research that shows this is the safest position for a small child to be in should a crash occur. And as parents, ultimately it's our kids' safety that matters most.
For additional information on this subject click on these links:
It's interesting to watch the progression and/or reversal of laws, regulations, guidelines and recommendations on these and other issues. The great thing about a law or guideline is that it can continually be molded or completely done away with depending on the current school of thought, needs and purposes of our society. Many guidelines or recommendations of organizations like AAP do eventually become law and others retain their status as merely guidelines of a particular organization.
Next week, I will have a guest post on what to look for in finding an attorney to help you with your estate planning needs; how to approach your digital legacy and more. Over and out...