Car Seat Safety in Florida
Remember a time when everyone jumped from the front seat to the back seat with nothing more than your mom’s arm swinging in front of you for safety? With the increased number of cars on the roads, car seats and seat belts make a big difference in safety. Car seats, much like the advent of seat belts, are designed to keep your loved ones safe in the car.
A car seat is the best protection for your child if your vehicle is involved in an accident. According to SafeKids.com, road injuries are the leading cause of unintentional deaths in children in the United States and a correctly installed and used car seat can reduce the risk of dying by as much as 71 percent. For guides on how to install your child’s seat properly, please visit http://www.dmv.org/how-to-guides/install-child-seat.php
It is the responsibility of any adult driver in Florida to follow the state laws on driving with children in the car. The adult must ensure that “any child under five years old is seated in a federally-approved child car seat.”
The law clearly states:
- Children 5 years old or younger must be secured in a federally approved child restraint system.
- Children 3 years old and younger must use a separate car-seat or the vehicle’s built-in child seat.
- Children 4 through 5 years must sit in either a separate car seat, a built-in child seat or a seat belt, depending on the child’s height and weight.
- Children 6 through 17 years old must be in a seatbelt.
There are locations, including certain hospitals, AAA offices, and fire stations, where you can have your car seat inspected for safety and properly installed. Additionally, non-profit organizations such as Safe Kids Worldwide host car seat inspection events throughout the year where trained technicians teach parents everything they need to know to ensure that their car seats are installed properly. For a list of places in the Bay area that will help ensure that your car seat is installed properly for free, please visit www.safercar.gov/cpsApp/cps/index.htm. To find the next Safe Kids Worldwide Car Seat Inspection Event, please visit www.safekids.org/events/field_coalition/safe-kids-florida/field_type/check-event