Did you know car crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages birth to 13? Car seats and booster seats can provide the protection to keep children safe in the car. However many parents are not always using the right seat or following all the steps necessary to safely buckle the child in the seat.
What follows are the changes that take effect in the child passenger law on January 1st.
For children ages 0-2: Children must ride rear-facing up to age 2 or until they reach the upper weight and height limit allowed by the car seat manufacturer. Infants and toddlers must ride in rear-facing car seats providing the best support for head, neck, and spine.
For children up to age 8: Children up to age 8 must ride in a correctly installed car seat or booster seat. Previously this was only required up until age 6. Also, children up to age 8 must ride in the back seat, as long as there is a back seat equipped with a seat belt and is not already occupied by other children under eight years of age.
For children ages 8-18: Children must ride secured in a safety belt or child safety seat (booster seat).
For children ages 0-18: They are prohibited or banned from riding in cargo areas.
Childcare providers: must transport all children securely in an appropriate federally-approved child safety seat or safety belt.
The violation of this new law carries a $25 fine plus court costs and 1 point is assessed against the operator’s driving record.
Road injuries are the leading cause of preventable deaths and injuries to children in the United States. Correctly used child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent. Please become informed of this new law and learn how to correctly select and install a child car seat because three out of four car seats are not used or installed correctly.
Parents can get information and assistance on the proper use of child safety seats at Inspection Stations. Inspection Stations are permanent locations. However, most Inspection Stations require you to schedule an appointment.
To locate an inspection station located in Nebraska, click here!
To learn more visit drivesmartne.org and safekids.org.
LEANNE MANNING, EXTENSION EDUCATOR | THE LEARNING CHILD
Peer Reviewed by Linda Reddish, Extension Educator, The Learning Child, and Leslie Crandall, Extension Educator, The Learning Child
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