Unfortunately, parenting does not come with a manual. This leaves parents with numerous questions for many different stages and areas of life. It can be scary to figure out how to keep your child free from harm. But fortunately, some things have been proven to protect our children.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that when compared to the use of just a seat belt, the use of car seats reduces the risk of injury to children in a crash by 71-82 percent, while booster seats do so by 45 percent for kids aged 4-8.
When it comes to child safety while in a moving vehicle, the law is there to guide you. According to Arkansas’ Child Passenger Protection Act, the following is required to remain within compliance of state motor vehicle safety laws:
- 0-6 years and < 60 lbs: Children under the age of six who weigh less than 60 pounds are required to be restrained in a car seat or booster seat.
- At least 6 years OR > 60 lbs: Children who are at least six or those who weigh a minimum of 60 pounds may use a seatbelt without using a car or booster seat.
- Under 15 years: Children under the age of 15 must wear a federally compliant seat belt.
Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) provides guidelines for car and booster seats by age and weight:
- 0-4 years: Newborns should be placed in rear-facing car seats until they have reached the weight and/or height limits as listed by the manufacturer of the car seat. Around the age of two is when children are usually able to be seated facing forwards.
- 4-7 years: Children in this age range should always be in a forward-facing seat that utilizes a five-point harness. The harness is always to be worn whenever the car is moving. Car seats for children of this age generally work for those 65 pounds or less.
- 8-12 years: The AAP recommends that children in the age range use a booster seat along with the car’s actual seat belt until they feel comfortable to ride in the car without such a seat.
- At least 13 years: Children who are at least 13 years old should always wear a seat belt – both the lap and the shoulder belt, which should fit correctly. The lap belt should always be low across their hips, while the should belt should always lay flat across their chest and shoulder.
Your child should stay in a booster seat until he or she can wear a seat belt properly. Once a child has reached this age, he or she is then able to sit in the front seat assuming that their height and weight enable them to wear a seat belt correctly.
An Experienced Car Accident Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of someone else, you shouldn’t have to pay the consequences. The experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at Caddell Reynolds can help you to get what you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us at (800) 889-6944 today!