The American Academy of Pediatrics has completed research on child safety seats in regards to the age, height, weight, and position of seating for children.
South Carolina legislators updated their laws last week to be in accordance with the new standards.
Some changes to current laws include the following below (Information from WMBF News):
- Children need to be in a car seat that is rear-facing until 2-years-old or until they max out the weight or height recommended for the child passenger restraint system being used.
- A child at least 2 years of age, or a child under 2 years of age, who has outgrown his rear-facing child passenger restraint system, must be secured in a forward-facing child passenger restraint system with a harness in a rear-passenger seat of the vehicle until the child exceeds the highest height or weight requirements of the forward-facing child passenger restraint system.
- A child at least 4 years of age who has outgrown his forward-facing child passenger restraint system must be secured by a belt-positioning booster seat in a rear seat of the vehicle until he can meet the height and fit requirements for an adult safety seat belt as described in the next bullet. The belt-positioning booster seat must be used with both lap and shoulder belts. A booster seat must not be used with a lap belt alone.
- A child at least 8 years of age and at least 57 inches tall may be restrained by an adult safety seat belt if the child can be secured properly by an adult safety seat belt. A child is properly secured by an adult safety seat belt if:
-the lap belt fits across the child's thighs and hips and not across the abdomen;
-the shoulder belt crosses the center of the child's chest and not the neck; and
-the child is able to sit with his back straight against the vehicle seat back cushion with his knees bent over the vehicle's seat edge without slouching.
-For medical reasons that are substantiated with written documentation from the child's physician, advanced nurse practitioner, or physician assistant, a child who is unable to be transported in a standard child passenger safety restraint system may be transported in a standard child passenger safety restraint system designed for his medical needs.
- The law also states now that if a motor vehicle doesn't have a rear passenger seat, or it is occupied by children under 8 years of age, a child 8 years and under can ride in the front seat of the vehicle if they are secured properly in the right child passenger seat for their size, age, weight.
These changes are meant to keep children safe in the event of a car accident. Head and neck injury is probable if they are not restrained appropriately so be sure to read the guidelines and position your child in the appropriate way for their age and weight.
If you are not sure if the restraint is secure or done properly, you can have your child passenger restraint system checked for free at any local Horry County Fire Station.
Despite taking precautions, we cannot always avoid a car accident when others are reckless on the road. If you are seriously injured in a car accident, you may need legal help to get your medical bills paid.
Conway Personal Injury Attorneys at The Derrick Law Firm have over 29 years of experience in personal injury including auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and falls, workers' comp, wrongful death, and insurance claims.
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