SALT LAKE CITY — A child has to be in a rear-facing child car seat until age 2, though the rule used to be 1.
Booster seats are necessary until a child is 8, but if they are still shorter than 4-feet, 9-inches they should stay in a booster seat for longer.
Those are two rules many parents don’t know about car seats, which is why Primary Children’s Hospital hosted an event to preview National Child Passenger Safety Week.
Sgt. Sam Winkler of the South Jordan Police Department was among parents who learned that the rules have changed since they had their first child.
“When I was first starting with car seats, it was 1-year-old, it was rear facing,” Winkler said.
Winkler said other important rules include strapping children in tight, because loose straps allow a child to be thrown out of the harness in a violent collision. He also said it’s important to buy new, rather than used, car seats because safety standards change, and it’s also hard to know if a used seat has been weakened by wear and tear or an accident.
Janet Brooks with Primary Children’s Hospital encouraged parents to go to special check points this week to get free help with car seats.
“Every day, two children die and over 300 are injured in car crashes, so this isn’t something we take lightly,” Brooks said.
Primary Children’s Hospital has three, 30-second videos called “Keep your cupcake safe” to help parents with children from infants to teens. See the videos below for each category, and click here for more information about car seat safety from Click It Utah.
Rear facing car seats:
Safety tips for older children: