The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reports that car accidents are the number one cause of deadly outcomes or disabilities in youngsters. That said, you do have a tool that helps to better your child’s odds of surviving a crash: the right car seat. Statistics prove that properly used restraints have a 71-percent effectiveness rate in the protection against infant fatalities. For toddlers up to four years, the effectiveness rate is 54 percent.

What Does the Law Say About Car Seats?

  • Rear-facing seat. Newborns to babies one year of age and weighing at least 20 pounds of body weight should ride in a rear-facing seat.
  • Forward-facing seat with a harness. Babies one year of age who weigh at least 20 pounds up to children who top out at the seat’s maximum weight and height limits should remain in a forward-facing seat with a five-point harness.
  • Booster seat. Until children reach the age of eight and four feet and nine inches in height, they should sit on a booster. Use the car’s regular seat belt to secure the child.
  • Seat belt. Once the child exceeds the age and height requirement, s/he should be able to fit the seat belt properly to remain safe. Keep youngsters up to 12 years in the backseat. When they are teenagers at 13 years, they may ride in the front seat – with proper restraints, of course.

Anticipate the Change in the Law Pertaining to Rear-facing Seats

Beginning on January 1, 2017, you are required to keep your infant and baby in a rear-facing seat until the child reaches the age of two. You may be able to switch to a forward-facing seat when the child weighs at least 40 pounds or is at least 40 inches tall. Contact us today with additional questions pertaining to California’s car seat laws.

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