On January 1st New Hampshire’s new child safety seat law took effect.
You can read the details at http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XXI/265/265-107-a.htm.
Scroll down to part 1b. As of my posting this on 1/4/14 there are 2 paragraph 1b’s. The second is the updated section. I’m sure they will update this soon, probably after we shovel out from all the snow we go on January 2nd.
The new law is:
I-b. No person shall drive a motor vehicle on any way while carrying as a passenger a person less than 7 years of age unless such passenger is properly fastened and secured by a child restraint system which is in accordance with the safety standards approved by the United States Department of Transportation in 49 C.F.R. section 571.213. If the passenger is 57 inches or more in height, the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply.
There is more to this section, but this snippet covers the big changes. Which are – If your child is under the age of 7 they must be in a child safety seat until they are taller than 57″. How tall is 57″? That’s 4 ft 9″ tall. I’m 5′ tall so any child under the age of 7 who is shorter than say the height of my ear must be in a child seat. This can be a booster seat or any seat.
This is not only important for parents to know, but also for anyone who transports children in their car. I volunteer with scouts. If I am driving Daisy or Brownie Girl Scouts in my van; or Tiger or Wolf Cub Scouts, they must all be in child safety seats. I’m not as versed on all the Cub Scout rules, but for Girl Scouts we might not be covered by the Girl Scouts insurance if we were in an accident and the children were not in approved seats.
There is also a great website I found the other day, The Car Seat Lady, who has a great graphic of how a seat belt should fit a child properly. Basically if you are using your vehicles seat belt the lap belt should span from hip to hip and the shoulder belt should span from the child’s hip to shoulder without crossing their neck. Check out the Car Seat Lady’s pictures of proper seat belt placement.
Car seat safety is important. You may be a really safe driver, but we can’t say the same for other drivers on the road. Drive defensively, safely, and remember children 12 and under should sit in the back seats.