Seat belt law tightens on youngsters
A NEW Maryland law requires that children be buckled into safety seats in cars until they are 4 years old or weigh 40 pounds and that children up to 10 must be secured in a safety seat or in a properly fastened seat belt.
The old law required safety seats only until children were 3. The law, which adheres to the standards set by the American Academy of Pediatrics, applies to all passenger cars, lightweight trucks, vans and other multi-purpose vehicles. Children may use either full car seats or car booster seats, depending on their age and size.
Project KISS -- Kids in Safety Seats -- coordinates a safety seat loaner program through which parents can "borrow" seats for extended periods for nominal fees, which vary by county and sponsoring organization. A directory of loaner programs is available in public libraries or by contacting KISS at 225-1375.
Tax credit for camp
April is taxing enough, so here's a tip for those eligible for the child care credit when paying federal income taxes.
If your young dependents are in a day camp or another summer program, be sure to ask for -- and keep where you'll remember it -- the program's employer identification number before summer's over.
Camps won't be operating at tax time, and the numbers, necessary for receiving the credit, may be difficult to come by. The Internal Revenue Service says "the cost of sending your child to an overnight camp is not considered a work-related expense" and cannot, therefore, be counted toward eligible child care expenses. The maximum child care credit is $1,440 (30 percent of $4,800) for two or more children. The credit varies with family income, number of children and the amount spent on child care.
Women looking for career counseling and help in changing jobs or returning to school are invited to explore some of their options at free orientation sessions for the Women's Program at Dundalk Community College.
Director of the Women's Program, Alice Moore, will talk about individual career counseling, academic planning and financial aid and discuss workshops on self-esteem and decision-making.
Sessions will be from 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 13 and Aug. 20 and from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 7, 14 and 21. The Women's Program offers support services for women making changes, such as starting or returning to college, investigating careers or switching jobs. For more information on the orientation sessions or the program, call the college at 285-9809.
Of concern to kids
The great majority of children are concerned about the state of the Earth they will inherit as adults. Ninety-seven percent of youngsters age 8 to 12 fear there will be fewer trees and forests, wildlife, fish, plants and oil when they grow up, according to a poll of 400 children who visited Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa., recently.
Family Forum welcomes items of interest to families. Send them to Mary Maushard, Accent, The Evening Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Box 1377, Baltimore 21278. Information on events should be sent at least two weeks in advance.