In OREGON the rules changed July 1, 2007.
Now babies must be rear facing until both 20 pounds and 1 year old
Children must be in a car seat ( i.e. 5 point harness, not a booster seat) until over 40 pounds
And children 41 pounds to 8 years (or 4' 9" tall) must be in a booster seat.
TRAVEL OUT OF STATE - Also if you travel with your children check out the rules where you are traveling too. We are required to follow that states rules not our own states. In an accident where children are not in the right car seat according to the law the parents are being charged. Please plan ahead.
FEDERAL GUIDELINE - However no matter what your state rules say the Federal safety guidelines suggest:
!. Rear facing until full weight of the car seat ( usually 30 pound)
2. 5 Point harness until at least 40 pounds but to 65 pound is better
3. Booster until 4' 9"
REAR FACING - 12 months and 20 pounds minimum is the law. However the new studies are suggesting that infants stay rear facing until age 2 or more. In Sweden they keep them rear facing to the full weight limit of their car seat, which in usually 33 pounds ( nearly 3 years old). Because they do this they only had 8 deaths in 5 years in car accidents involving children rear facing. REAR FACING VIDEO
I spoke with a man this week whose wife and children were hit in a car accident. The van was totaled. All three kids were in car seats. The infant that was rear facing was fine. The 4 year old in a 5 point harness was fine. The 18 month old who was forward facing had neck and face bruises and trauma from the crash. When forward facing and so young their little heads are whipped back and forth with much force. If you are considering turning your 1 year old forward facing please watch this.
VIDEO and another VIDEO
FIVE POINT HARNESS - If you have moved your child out of a 5 point harness please watch this VIDEO. The longer we keep them in the safer they are. Children are safer in a 5 point harness than in a booster seat with a seat belt alone. The 5 point harness keeps them securely in the seat. The seat belt allows more room for their body to be throw forward or for them to slip under. Several children under age 5 in booster seats have been killed. Keep your children safer by keeping them in a 5 point harness longer. The RADIAN 65 CAR SEAT keeps them in a 5 point harness until 65 pounds. The RADIAN 80 CAR SEAT keeps them in a 5 point harness until 80 pounds.
BOOSTER SEATS - Most state laws require a booster seat until age 6 or 8. Our state just changed from 6 year and 60 pounds to 8 years and 80 pounds. The American Academy of Pediatrics goes a little further and says that most kids aren't ready for regular seat belts until "the child reaches about 4'9" in height and is between 8 to 12 years of age." Also even if your state rule for car seats is less than the 8 years, the federal guideline now recommends booster seats until the child is 4' 9" so the seat belt fits them correctly.
See more articles by Kay Green at http://www.mypreciouskid.com/articles/
Article by Kay Green founder of http://www.mypreciouskid.com/ Child Safety Store. Copyright 2007 My Precious Kid