Children 40 inches or less must be properly restrained in a federally approved safety seat. Children younger than seven and between 40 and 50 inches must be properly secured in a booster seat. Parents or drivers can be cited if the child places the shoulder belt under the arm or behind the back. Another common problem is that small children riding in just a vehicle belt tend to slouch or slump, causing the lap belt to ride up the abdomen, which can cause severe internal injuries in a crash. Most children do not fit properly in vehicle belts until they are at least age eight. It is essential to educate parents about the importance of booster use. Did you know most children need boosters from about age 4 to at least age 8? If your child is not riding in a booster, try this 5-Step Test:
- Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
- Do the child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
- Is the lap belt on the top part of the thighs?
- Is the shoulder belt centered on the shoulder and chest?
- Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, your child needs a booster seat to ride safely in the car. Riding in a booster is more comfortable, too! The Shepherdsville Police Department has officers who are nationally certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians. These officers can assist you in learning the proper way to install your child’s car seat as well as checking your car seat for defects or manufacturers’ recalls. To schedule an appointment with one of these officers call the Shepherdsville Police Department at 502-921-1000. The Safe Kids USA website offers child safety seat information. Download the Child Passenger Safety sheet from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet here.