We all know that car seat safety is very important in making sure that our kids are safe in case of an accident. Here are the most updated Kentucky car seat safety laws and recommendations from The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and The Kentucky State Police.
Kentucky Car Seat Law:
Quoted Directly from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet:
Booster seats provide an extra step between child safety seats and seatbelts.
Kentucky Booster Law states that "Any driver of a motor vehicle, when transporting a child under the age of eight (8) years who is between forty (40) inches and fifty-seven (57) inches in height in a motor vehicle operated on the roadways, streets, and highways of this state, shall have the child properly secured in a child booster seat. A child of any age who is greater than fifty-seven (57) inches in height shall not be required to be secured in a child booster seat under this section. If a child is older than 8 years old or over 57 inches tall, they are not required by law to ride in a booster seat."
Best practice however would be to keep children under 57 inches riding in a booster until they meet the height requirement, regardless of age.
The bill requires law enforcement officers to issue citations with a $30 fine with no court costs. In addition, violators will have the option to purchase a booster seat instead of paying the fine.
Boosters are intended to lift the child up off the vehicle seat to improve the fit of the adult lap and shoulder seatbelt.
The lap portion of the belt should fit low on the hips or high on the thighs and the shoulder portion of the belt should be snug across the collarbone.
An improper fit of the adult safety belt can cause the lap belt to ride up over the stomach and the shoulder belt to cut across the neck, potentially exposing the child to serious abdominal or neck injury.
According to Partners for Child Passenger Safety, more than 90% of 4 to 8-year-old children who were seriously injured in a crash were not restrained in a booster seat.
Child Safety Seat Inspections:
Quoted Directly from the Kentucky State Police Website:
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages four to 14. Keeping children safe on the road means putting them in the right restraint at the right age.
KSP is announcing a permanent child safety seat inspection station. Troopers at all 16 Posts have been trained as certified child safety seat technicians.
Our permanent inspection stations are available to make sure parents and childcare providers know and follow every one of the 4 Steps for Kids guidelines.
THE 4 STEPS FOR KIDS ARE:
REAR-FACING INFANT SEATS in the back seat from birth to at least one year old and at least 20 pounds.
FORWARD-FACING TODDLER SEATS in the back seat from age one to about age four and 20 to 40 pounds.
BOOSTER SEATS in the back seat from about age four and 40 pounds to at least age eight, unless 4’9″.
SAFETY BELTS at age eight or older, or taller than 4’9″. All children age 12 and under should ride in the back seat.
*Please make sure you read and follow the manufacturers instructions of the car seat or booster you are using and the vehicle owners manual for proper installation*
*The chest clip (aka retainer clip) should be kept at armpit level. This enables the harness to stay in the proper position.
*Harness straps should be no tighter than one finger should fit between the child's collar bone and the strap. The straps should e snug against he child's shoulders and not be able to be pinched.
*Harness Straps should be below the child's shoulders when rear facing
*Harness straps should be above the child's shoulders when forward-facing
The lap portion of the belt should fit low on the hips or high on the thighs and the shoulder portion should be snug across the collar bone.
Coats and Jackets:
Heavy coats are not to be worn while in a car seat, booster or seat belt at any age, including adulthood. Thin Jackets, hoodies and windbreakers are thin enough materials and can be worn. What is recommended is that you fasten the child in the car seat or seat belt in their clothing and can drape their coat over top of them after buckled.
There are some popular items that people use as an alternative:
Please see this video from Today Show about the results of a heavy jacket with a car seat:
Car seats are in majority made out of plastic. Due to the sun exposure through the car windows, this breaks down the plastic and can make it weak over time. Please check your expiration date on your car seat and discard at that date. (Stay tuned for Car Seat Trade in events on FamiliesofLouisvilleKy.com)