Child Passenger Safety Tips
Every parent should be reminded of the following safety tips for traveling with young children.
- Infants must always be placed in a rear-facing seat until they have reached 1 year of age AND 20 pounds.
- If your child is less than one year and weighs more than 20 pounds, make certain that he/she is secured in a rear-facing seat that is approved for their weight. This excludes infant seat carriers with a detachable base.
- NEVER place a rear-facing infant in front of an air bag.
- Remember, rear-facing is the safest method of transportation. If you can maintain rear- facing travel after the baby is one year of age, do so as long as reasonably possible.
- Once your child has graduated to forward facing travel, they are expected to travel in a forward-facing toddler seat until they weigh approximately 40 pounds.
- All children who have outgrown a toddler seat, and exceed the weight limitations should then be moved to a booster seat for proper restraint until they meet the 8-years or 80 pound threshold.
- Occasionally a young child will meet the weight requirement very early. Keep in mind; the reason for the booster seat is to ensure proper fit of the vehicle seat belt. If the child has met the weight limit, but the seat belt does not fit properly across the chest and hips a booster is still encouraged for proper safety. There are also seats on the market that accommodate larger weight limits.
- Old or previously owned child seats should not be used unless you are certain they have never been involved in a crash and they have all proper and functioning parts. Any seat older than 6 years should be discarded and destroyed.
- Always read both the Car Seat instructions and the Vehicles Owner's Manual prior to installing your child restraint. Compatibility issues can be a subject for proper installation.
- Children of all ages are most safe traveling in the backseat.
- It's essential that the safety seat you have chosen correctly fits your child.
- Get your seat checked!!!
Please remind your family and friends that the local Police Departments have AAA certified child seat technicians that will assist you in your car seat installations. When the subject is the safety of your children, you can never be too careful.
There have been a variety of questions regarding the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidance for maintaining a rear facing position until your child is two years of age. Please be aware that this is simply a “recommendation” and not a “required” travel position. The State of NJ requires that your child remain rear facing for the first year AND must meet the 20 pound minimum. It has always been maintained that a child under the age of two benefits from travel in the rear facing position as long as they can do that comfortably. There are many reasons why parents choose to move their children to a forward facing position. Make an appointment and discuss your options while your car seat is inspected.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Montvale Police Department and speak to a technician. We would be happy to aid you in the proper installation of your child safety seat. If you would kindly install your seat prior to meeting with your technician, we think you will be pleasantly surprised just how simple this valuable task can be.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated effort in keeping our children safe!
PO. Alisha R. Foley #118, AAA Certified Technician