We all know that children 18 years of age and younger must, by law, wear a seat belt but it can be confusing figuring out if your school age child still needs a booster seat or not. The following excerpt is from the Department of Motor Vehicles website.
Children who are under 7 years old AND are 57 inches tall or shorter must ride in a federally approved car seat or booster. The only time this is not the case is if the child is over 57 inches tall; in which case they can use a seat belt. It is important to use a child restraint system for as long as possible, and to do so based on the manufacturers age, weight and height specifications.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) www.cdc.gov offers the following data to show parents the importance of using proper safety measures in the car;
- In 2012, restraint use saved the lives of 284 children ages 4 years and younger.
- Car seats reduce the risk of death in car crashes by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4.
- Booster seats reduce the risk for serious injury by 45% for children ages 4 to 8 years.
- Between 1975 and 2012, child restraints saved an estimated 10,157 lives of children ages 4 and younger.
Although New Hampshire doesn't make it a law to have children sit in the back seat the CDC recommends that all children aged 12 and under should ride properly buckled in the back seat. Airbags can kill young children riding in the front seat. Never place a rear-facing car seat in the front seat or in front of an airbag. Always set a good example for your children and use your seat belt regardless of how short the trip is.