You might want to know this: There’s an update to carseat regulations

(Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of AAA Tidewater)
(Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of AAA Tidewater)

Starting on July 1, children up to 2 years old are prohibited from being in forward-facing car seats unless the child reaches the minimum weight limit.

That means children up to that age will have to be restrained in a rear-facing car seat until they reach either the age or weight limit as outlined by the car seat manufacturer.

The bill expands the reasons a physician may determine that it is impractical for a child to use a child restraint system to include the child’s height.

The other Virginia regulations concerning car seats have not been changed.

Children ages 8 until 18 must be secured in a child restraint, booster seat, or safety belt regardless of seating position, according to AAA digest of motor laws.

Children under 8 must be secured in a child restraint or booster seat, as appropriate in the rear seats.

Why are car seats important?

Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for children 4 years and older, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Using the correct car safety seat or booster seat can help decrease the risk of death or serious injury by more than 70 percent, and parents look to their pediatricians as a trusted source of guidance, officials said.

In 2016, 38 percent of children killed in car crashes were unrestrained, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Finding the correct car seat type and then installing the car seat correctly all are part of good carseat safety for children, according to NHTSA.

The Virginia Beach Department of Health under the Virginia Department of Health has a Child Passenger Safety program where free child safety seats and booster seats are available for income eligible parents.

The VDH also has a safety seat check program where they teach how to properly install a car seat and buckle a child in.

To find a health department nearby, click here.

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