Statistics show seat belts help save lives in accidents and that message seems to have made an impact. Reports state a majority of people – 87% nationally and 87.6% in New Jersey – use seat belts for their protection. But how do you protect young children?
Seat belts offer insufficient protection for infants and toddlers so the law requires the use of car seats and/or booster seats. Unfortunately, about two-thirds of parents use car seats incorrectly, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP offers guidelines for switching children from rear-facing car seats to front-facing seats and from car seats to booster seats but only about 23% of parents nationally follow these guidelines. State laws and car seat manufacturers offer their own guidelines which, in some cases, conflict with those offered by the AAP. This conflict can result in confusion, causing the incorrect use.
Last month, New Jersey lawmakers took steps to alleviate this confusion by adopting a new car seat law that includes age and height requirements more closely in line with AAP guidelines. To learn how to properly use car seats and booster seats under New Jersey’s new law, read “The Big Changes to the NJ Car Seat Law: What You Need to Know.”