National Child Passenger Safety Week observed


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  • Properly installed and used child passenger safety seats save lives. Safety experts say that more young children die each year as passengers in car accidents than from any disease or other kinds of unintentional injuries combined. All infants and toddlers should ride in rear-facing car safety seats until they are 2 years old or until they reach the highest weight or height limit allowed by their seat. PHOTO: www.agrilifeextension.famu.edu



By Tiffany Heineman

According to the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, three out of four child safety seats are improperly used or installed in vehicles.

National Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Week, which runs this year from September 17-23, seeks to provide education and awareness about this serious traffic safety concern.

The New Jersey Child Passenger Restraint Law outlines requirements for safe transport of children based on the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration guidelines.

The following is a summary of those guidelines as provided by the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General

Any child under the age of eight years old and a height of 57 inches shall be secured in the rear seat of a motor vehicle.

Under 2 years of age and 30 pounds: Child shall be secured in a rear-facing seat equipped with a 5-point harness.

Under 4 years of age and 40 pounds: Child shall be secured as described in (a) until they reach the upper limits of the rear-facing seat, then in a forward-facing child restraint equipped with a 5-point harness.

Under 8 years of age and a height of 57 inches: Child shall be secured as described in (a) or (b) until they reach the upper limits of the rear-facing or forward-facing seat, then in a belt positioning booster seat.

Over 8 years of age or a height of 57 inches: Child must be properly secured by a seat belt.

If there are no rear seats, the child shall be secured as described above in the front seat, except that no child shall be secured in a rear-facing seat in the front seat of any vehicle equipped with an active passenger-side airbag, unless that airbag is de-activated.

As part of CPS week, various locations in New Jersey will be offering seat checks to parents and caregivers.

To find a seat check event location near you and for more information, visit http://www.nj.gov/oag/hts/downloads/Seat_Check_Sat_Events_NJ.pdf.

Tiffany Heineman

is an attorney with Laddey, Clark & Ryan, LLP

in Sparta.

(Editor's note: There are two certified child safety seat installers available at the West Milford Police Department. You can either call 973-728-2800 to make an appointment, or stop by the department, located at 1480 Union Valley Road.)

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