Children are the most precious cargo you put in your vehicle.
To protect them from harm, it’s critical you know which type of child safety seat they belong in and buckle them up every trip, even short ones. Automobile crashes are a leading cause of injury and death for children ages zero to thirteen, which are preventable with appropriate use of car seats, boosters and seat belts.
In recognition of 2017's Child Passenger Safety Week (Sept. 17-23), Phoenix passenger injury attorneys encourage you to learn more about car seat safety.
Arizona child safety seat laws
Like every state, the Arizona Department of Transportation has specific laws regarding child restraint systems. At Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys, its Phoenix passenger injury attorneys help you to do everything to protect your child. These laws protect children riding in motor vehicles.
- All children younger than eight and shorter than 4’9” tall must use an appropriate child restraint device.
- Booster seats are required for children between five and seven years old and/or under 4’9” tall.
- Children 8 years old or older or taller than 4’9” may use the vehicle’s seat belts.
Although many states also include weight as part of their child safety restraint provisions, Arizona only follows the height provision. No-cost Child Safety Seat Stations are set up across Arizona to help you learn what type of safety seat your children should use and how to properly install it.
Get the right fit
When choosing a car seat, don't just base it on your child's age. You must also factor in his/her height and weight to get the right fit. There are four basic types of child safety restraints:
- Rear-facing infant seats designed for newborns and younger infants (about eight or nine months) and convertible versions designed for infants and toddlers up to three years of age.
- Forward-facing car seats built for children aged one to seven, depending on their size.
- Booster seats fit children aged four to 12, depending on their size.
- Vehicle seat belts — which should only be used when the shoulder strap fits across the shoulder and chest (not the neck or head) and the lap belt fits across the upper thighs (not the stomach).
Lead by example — always wear your seat belt and make sure all passengers buckle up either in seat belts or appropriate child safety seats or boosters. Use Parents Central’s Car Seat Finder to help you find the right fit.
Always start by reading the owner's manual for the child safety restraint you're using. A properly installed car seat shouldn't move more than an inch from side to side or front to back when pulled.
- Secure your car seat in your vehicle by either using the vehicle seat belt placed through the belt path on the bottom of the car seat or use lower anchors and tether for children (LATCH) system, if installed on your vehicle.
- In a LATCH system, always use both the lower anchors and top tether for forward-facing car seats.
- Never use both the seat belt and LATCH system, choose whichever one provides the snuggest fit.
- LATCH systems have weight restrictions for the lower anchors, so use the seat belt and the top tether for forward-facing car seats when your child exceeds this weight.
Safe Kids Worldwide offers car seat inspection stations where you can also get instructions on properly installing your car seat around the country or contact your local police department for assistance.
Hire top Phoenix passenger injury attorneys
The Phoenix passenger injury attorneys at Lerner & Rowe hope you and your child never experience a car accident, but if you do, they are here to help. Their office is open from 8 AM to 5 PM, but we’re available 24/7 to take your call at (602) 977-1900 or use their convenient LiveChat online. Consultations are always free. And if you don't win, you don't pay.