This child never had a chance. Yesterday, in Atlanta, a two month old infant was killed because she was sitting in her mother’s lap while her mother was driving a car and hit a telephone pole. The air bag deployed, as it should, and the infant died immediately. The mother was physcially unharmed. As would have been her baby if the mother had simply taken one minute to strap her into a child’s car seat.
Parents can learn more about child car seat safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Admininstration (NHTSA) and its Child Passenger Safety Program. Specifically, for Georgia law on child car seats, parents can have their questions answered at The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
Essentially, the Georgia law requirements for use of a child car seat are as follows:
Step 1: When to use a rear-facing child safety seat: From birth to at least 20 pounds and at least one year of age. For babies who are under one year and over 20 pounds, be sure to place them in safety seats approved for heavier babies and continue to transport them in rear-facing child safety seats until they are at least one year of age.
Step 2: When to use a forward-facing child safety seat: If a child is over 20 pounds and at least one (1) year old to about 40 pounds and about age four (4). The harness straps should be at or above shoulder level. Most convertible, forward-facing seats require use of the top slot for forward facing seats.
Step 3: When to use a booster seat. If the child is between 40 and 80 pounds and less than 4’9″ tall. Belt positioning booster seats must be used with both lap and shoulder belts. Never use a booster seat with a lap belt only.
Step 4: When to use a seat belt: If children are over 80 pounds and at least 4’9″ tall. If a child can sit with his back straight against the vehicle seat back cushion, with his knees bent over the vehicle’s seat edge without slouching, he can be moved out of a booster seat into the regular back seat . Have your child safety seats inspected by a certified child passenger safety technician (CPST). For information on Child Passenger Safety Seat Fitting Stations in Georgia, visit http://www.gohs.state.ga.us/stations.html.
Just please remember to save a life and buckle up the ones you love.