Q: I'm expecting a baby in a few months. What is the best seat to buy?
A: The best seat is the one that will fit your baby,
will fit in your car,will fit your budget, and will be used by you correctly every time. Generally, infant only seats will fit your newborn best and be more convenient to use.
Q: What is the current law regarding car seats in Indiana?
A: Indiana Child Passenger Law
• Children are required to ride properly restrained in a child restraint, which can include a belt positioning booster seat, until they reach their 8th birthday. (This does not include shoulder belt positioners.)
• If at court proceedings a driver who has received a violation under this code possesses or has acquired a child restraint system, the driver is not liable for any costs or monetary judgment if the person has no previous judgments of violation of this chapter against the person.
• Fees collected from violations will be entered into a fund to purchase child restraints for low income families throughout Indiana.
o If all lap/shoulder seat belts are being used by other children, then a child over 40 pounds may ride in a lap only seat belt without a child restraint. (Booster seats cannot be safely used with a lap only seat belt.)
o Additional exemptions include vehicles such as a school bus, ambulance, public passenger bus, motorcycle and other emergency vehicles.
• Children at least 8 years old until their 16th birthday are required to ride properly restrained in a child restraint system or seat belt in all seating positions in all vehicles.
• Law effective July 1, 2005.
Indiana Passenger Law
• Children 16 and older (& adults) are required to ride properly restrained in a seat belt in all seating positions in all vehicles including cars, trucks, vans, and SUV's.
Q: I've heard a lot about booster seats recently. Should my 6 year old ride in a booster seat?
A: Best practice guidelines say that children who have outgrown their child safety seat, but are too small for a seat belt should ride in a booster seat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that children over 40lbs and under 4'9" ride in a booster seat. This description fits most children who are between the ages of 4 and 8.
The best way to determine if the vehicle seat belt will fit your child properly is to have him/her sit on the vehicle seat without slouching. If the child's knees bend comfortably over the edge of the seat, the lap belt fits snugly and lies across the upper thighs, the shoulder belt lies across the collar bone and center of the chest, without crossing the neck, then your child should be the right size to ride safely without a booster.
Q: What do I replace in my car in the event of a crash?
A: It is a best practice guideline to replace child safety restraints and airbags (if they deploy)in the event of a crash. Many damages can occur that may not always be visible to the naked eye, therefore, replacement of these items is very important.