Child Seat Safety Laws
It’s something parents dread: the thought of their child being injured, especially in a car accident. Responsible moms and dads take precautions so this doesn’t occur. One important safety measure is securing infants, babies, and toddlers in car or booster seats.
Statistics show us that car crashes account for the majority of deaths for young children in the age ranges of 3 to 6 as well as 8 to 14. The research goes even further showing that in 2007; more than 6,000 passengers 14 and younger were killed in automobile accidents.
A massive public relations campaign over the last two decades has shown us that parents and caretakers have gotten the hint when it comes to safely securing their children during transport and car and booster seats have played a major role. But states have various criteria when it comes to what age and size the child must be when traveling in a vehicle. Parents must understand that as with traffic laws and regulations, the same holds true with car, booster and infant carrier seats. Caretakers are required to know what the laws are concerning transporting a baby or toddler and must adhere to them in any given state.
It is also important to remember that for children of varying sizes, it better for them to be secured in the proper booster or car seat and those traditional car safety belts are actually designed and meant for an average sized ADULT man. In other words, they cannot safety protect a small child.
Another thing to keep in mind is that experts recommend and advocate that any child under twelve travel in the back seat of a car. This is the safest place for them in the event of an accident. Experts also stress that kids up to 80 pounds are generally safer riding in a booster seat, rather than in safety belts that are clearly designed for adults.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also has some advice. They recommend that it is better for infants if they ride rear-facing. This should remain the case until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer. Basically kids should travel in a rear-facing position until they have reached at least 1 year of age and weigh at close to 20 pounds. Unfortunately, when children (especially those in the age range of 4 to 8) are not properly secured, they are extremely susceptible to injuries, including those to the neck, head and spine as well as internal injuries. In fact, children who sustain these types of injuries generally happen when they are NOT in booster seats or are improperly placed in seat belts clearly designed for adults.
Research shows that kids who are restrained by adult seat belts before they can properly fit in to them are four times more likely to be hurt than children in child passenger safety seats or booster seats. Booster seats provide the added height or “boost” that children need so they can be properly protected in the event of a crash.
Each state now mandates child safety and booster seat laws, but each sets their own specific requirements when it comes to height, weight and age as well as the type of safety seat, whether it be a car or booster seat, so it’s important for parent to do some research when it comes to finding out what their particular state requires. It is also important for parents to stay up to date on any and all child car seat recalls that may occur.