Child Safety is a serious issue and subject to serious consequences. Overtaking (passing) a school bus when its lights are flashing and the stop arm is out is, in most states, well over a $1,200 fine! Some school buses are now equipped with cameras for when the police aren’t present. Not having a child secured in a car seat or booster seat also dishes up some hefty fines, as well as cell phone use in an active school zone during school hours when children are present. And, if you don’t follow these current child safety rules, CPS (Child Protective Services) will babysit…..for free….for YEARS!
Both the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) and the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) recommend that small children under 2 years of age are safest when riding in a rear-facing car seat. Although the current law in most states require that an infant remain facing backwards until only 12 months old. It’s all about the neck, head or spinal injuries incurred when facing forward as opposed to the entire body absorbing the impact in a front or rear collision when facing backward.
Older children who have outgrown front facing car seats should ride in booster seats until the lap shoulder belt fits them. If the seat belt does not fit them properly in the booster seat, they need to be in a booster seat with a 5 point harness restraint. And children should remain in a booster seat until their 8th birthday “or” once they’ve reached 4’9” in height, whichever comes first. So, what this means is that your 4’1” grandmother doesn’t have to ride in a booster seat because she’s well over 8 years old.
And children under 13 should always ride in the back seat, according to both organizations. Although in some states it is legal to put them in the front seat at 9, and some at 12. My daughter rode in the back seat of the car until she was 17! Not for safety sake, she just didn’t want to be seen with me. Honestly, I don’t know how she learned how to cuss people out and flip them off from the back seat.
Until next week…
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
Child Safety – Comedy Defensive Driving
See Daun Thompson LIVE! In Arlington, Texas – Escapades Lounge, October 23rd and Blue Mesa November 1st!