Car Safety Seats and Child Injury Prevention
Child safety seats may not prevent serious auto accident injuries if they are not installed properly. Therefore, according to a recent article from TapInto.net, officials in Union County, NJ is once again offering free child safety seat inspections at an annual Child Safety Seat Inspection Center. Why does Union County make a point of creating a space each year in which residents can have their kids’ car seats inspected? Because, as the article emphasizes, “the proper use of child safety seats is one of the simplest and most effective methods available for protecting the lives of young children in the event of a motor vehicle accident.”
To ensure that your safety seat meets the requirements under NJ law and that it is properly installed, you can visit the inspection program on Wednesdays or Thursdays between 7:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Other parts of New Jersey and the Tri-state area have similar clinics for parents to get their child safety seats checked out.
As Bruce H. Bergen, the chairman of Union County Freeholders, explained, such programs ensure that parents and guardians are in compliance with state laws. In addition, as Bergen pointed out, “our trained safety technicians can help you get familiar with a new seat, or make adjustments to an older seat for a growing child.”
Understanding Child Safety Seats Laws and Regulations
New Jersey state law has specific requirements for child safety seats, and the safety seat inspection center helps to ensure that parents are abiding by the law. Specifically, the New Jersey Child Passenger Restraint Law requires the following for kids under the age of eight and under 57 inches in height:
- Children under two years old and under 30 pounds must be “secured in a rear-facing seat equipped with a 5-point harness.”
- Children under four years old and under 40 pounds must be secured in the same manner as children under two years old and under 30 pounds until they reach the limits of the rear-facing seat. At that point, children in this age and weight group must be secured in a forward-facing child seat that also has a 5-point harness.
- Children under eight years old and under 57 inches must be secured in one of the ways noted above, depending upon their weight and height. Once they have reached the limits of those child safety seats, they must be secured in a “belt positioning booster seat.”
- Children over eight years old or over 57 inches do not have to be secured in a child safety seat, but they do have to be secured with a seat belt.
Many child injuries are avoidable, and one of the best preventive measures involves securing children in car seats that are properly installed and are appropriate to the kid’s age and size. If your child suffered injuries in an auto accident, contact a car accident lawyer to determine your child’s rights.