In Cincinnati, Ohio, the leading cause of death among children between the ages of four years old to seven years old is auto accident injuries. Part of the problem in the past was that children between the ages of four years old and eight years old were not being put in the proper booster seats. In fact, in 2007, only 18% these children were properly restrained. This is why a law was passed in 2009 to ensure that children who were less than eight years old or less than four foot nine in height would be put in the appropriate booster seat for their size and age.
The Appropriate Child Safety Seat Based on the Child’s Age in Cincinnati
Cincinnati, Ohio, law requires children who are under the age of four years old or who are less than forty pounds in weight to be in child safety seats. Further, the child safety seat that you use needs to meet the motor vehicle safety standards of the federal government. A child who is over the age of four years old, under the age of eight years old, and also less than four foot nine in height must be in a booster seat. The type of booster seat used must be appropriate for the height and weight of the child.
Once a child reaches the given height and age, they must be restrained by a safety belt between the ages of eight years old and fifteen years old. If you are caught traveling with a child who is not properly restrained, you can face serious and costly penalties. Further, if you get into an auto accident with the child who is not properly restrained, the consequences can be tragic.
Younger Children Cannot Be Safely Restrained in a Normal Adult Seat Belt
Seat belts are specifically designed to keep drivers and passengers in a vehicle safe. They are meant to cross the body at specific points to spread the force of the impact around the strongest parts of your body. For example, the lap belt should go across your lower pelvis and the shoulder strap should go across your shoulder. The lap belt should not be across your belly, and the shoulder strap should not fall off of your shoulder or cross your neck. If the seat belt isn’t worn correctly, it could actually cause damage, rather than preventing it. When it comes to children who are too small for the seat belt to be worn correctly, this creates a serious hazard. Parents who think that their children are safe in a seat belt could end up in a parent’s worst nightmare after an accident occurs.
The benefit of a booster seat for a child is that the seat raises the child to a more appropriate height, meaning that the straps of the seat belt cross where they are supposed to and can protect instead of harm of the child in a motor vehicle collision. For evidence of the benefit of booster seat, we need look no further than the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s statistics that reveal that a child is 59% less likely to be seriously injured in an accident if they use a booster seat. Further, more than half of deaths to child passengers involve children who are not properly restrained and would still be alive if they had been in the correct booster seat and restraint for their age and size.
What Are the Penalties for Traveling with a Child Not Properly Restrained?
The worst consequence of traveling with a child who is not properly restrained, based on their age and height, is the tragedy of losing that child’s life in an auto accident. However, when it comes to what penalties are legally applied when travelers are caught with children who are not properly restrained, there are fines that will need to be paid. The fine is $75 for each time the driver is caught, though it is possible to dismiss the charges if the driver can prove that they have obtained a booster seat.
There are Many Different Types of Restraints for Children in Ohio
To make sure that you get the right type of child restraint for your child passengers in Cincinnati, Ohio, it helps to have an idea of what the available options are for different ages, weights, and heights. For instance, an infant requires a rear-facing child seat that will support the infants head, neck, and back. These seats are designed to move with the body of the child, so that if there is an auto accident, he or she is protected from serious damage to the neck or spinal cord.
Once the child is old enough to walk and has outgrown the infant seat, they can sit in a forward facing car seat. The child has to be at least one year old and twenty pounds to use a front facing seat, though many recommend that you wait until the child is closer to two years old. Some child safety seats can be converted from a rear facing infant seat to a front facing toddler seat.
Once the child no longer fits in a front facing toddler child seat, you can get a booster seat. These are primarily used for children between the ages of four years old and eight years old, or until they reach the height of four foot nine. Once they child is too old or too tall for the booster seat to be necessary, they can use the ordinary seat belt. However, it is still important to ensure that the child is using the seat belt correctly. If they put the shoulder strap behind them or if the lap or shoulder straps are not crossing the body where they are intended to, then the child may not be safe in an accident.
If you have any questions about the child restraint that your child passengers require or how to use them, you can locate a child car seat inspection station in your area to make sure you’re doing things correctly and your children are safe. If you or your child has been injured in a Cincinnati, Ohio auto accident, call the Chester Law Group to get a free consultation of your claim. Our determined car accident lawyers in Cincinnati, Ohio can help you with your claim!