Under California law, children 8 and younger must be secured in the back seat of the vehicle in a car seat or booster seat. Once a child becomes 8 or reaches 4’9” tall, he or she can be secured with a safety belt, but must still be positioned in the back seat.
A new law takes effect in the state come Jan. 1, 2017 that dictates children under the age of 2 must ride in a rear-facing car seat until they weigh 40 pounds or are 40 inches tall. After that, they can transition to a front-facing car seat.
Identifying the correct car seat for children at each stage of development and knowing whether or not seats are properly installed give parents and parents-to-be nightmares. They don’t have to fear, however, there are many places to turn for guidance.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has weighed in and recommends a rear-facing car seat for children under the age of 2, although height is the final determining factor. You should keep your child in that seat until their height puts them within an inch of the top of the seat, according to the organization. The safest placement is in the center position of the back seat.
That brings us to the first thing you should do to ensure you select the best seat for your situation. Search your vehicle’s manual to identify whether you should look for one that is secured by the seat belt or a LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system.
Next, plan to buy new because regulations change and seats get recalled. Seats once considered safe may no longer protect your son or daughter. Shop with your child’s age, weight and height top of mind, as well as the measurements of your vehicle’s backseat and your manual’s information on how it must be attached. Head to the store and feel free to break out a measuring tape to be sure you select a good fit. You’ll also want to choose a seat with a five-point harness and side-impact protection, and by all means, be sure that it’s made of a material that cleans easily. You also want to take note that it meets or exceeds Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213 and see where it comes in on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s five-star ease of use rating system.
If you’d like help properly installing your car seat or you’d like a car seat inspection to insure that you’ve properly installed the seat, the California Highway Patrol encourages you to stop by and speak with a child passenger safety technician at one of the following locations:
455 Eighth St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
3601 Telegraph Ave.
Oakland, CA 94609
355 Convention Way
Redwood City, CA 94063
Daly City Police Department
333 90th St
Daly City, CA 94015
Call for appointment
455 Hickey Blvd., 3rd Floor
Daly City, CA 94015
Remember that once a child turns 2 or has reached the maximum height or weight for a rear-facing car seat, you can transition him or her to a forward-facing car seat. They’ll need to remain in that until they reach 40 pounds or the age of 8, whichever comes first. Children should move to a seat belt, in the back seat, only after the belt fits across their chest and lap. It should not come across their neck or stomach.
Taking all of these steps, and ensuring that your child is securely strapped in the seat each and every time your car is rolling, no matter how long the trip, will reduce the risk of your child dying as a result of a crash by 71 percent, says the Center for Disease Control.
Everyone here at Peninsula Auto Body, Inc is concerned for your safety and the safety of your family. As always we are here for you and all of your collision repair needs. Stop by or give us a call today at 650.588.0999.
Peninsula Auto Body, Inc.
1430 San Mateo Ave.
S. San Francisco, CA 94080
Mon – Fri 7:30 am – 5:30 pm
Saturday – 8 am – 12 pm