Child Car Seats
The safety of your children is of the utmost importance and we want to help you to be sure you are properly transporting your precious cargo! Whether you are expecting your first child or if you already have a min-van full of ballerinas, soccer stars and karate masters, we can assist you install your baby's first car seat as well as check to make sure your existing car seats are properly installed. This Program is open to everyone at no cost to you or your family. Please contact us at 610-696-2700 Ext. 323 or Ext. 352 to schedule your car seat safety inspection.
Child Car Seat Facts
As children grow, how they are secured in your vehicle will change based on their age, weight, height and developmental needs. The following guide will help you choose the correct child restraint for each stage of your child's growth and development. It is imperative that families do not skip a step for the optimal safety of their child.
Before Baby Arrives
When you're an expectant mother, it's important to always wear your seat belt to protect you and your unborn child. Wear the lap belt across your hips and below your belly with the shoulder belt across your chest (between the breasts).
For the best possible protection keep infants in a back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats, as long as possible, until 2 years of age or up to the maximum height or weight limit of their particular car seat. Children in the second year of life (12-24 months) are over 5 times less likely to be seriously injured or die in a crash if they are secured rear-facing. Article in Injury Prevention 2007; 13: 398-402 "Car Safety Seats for children: rear-facing for best protection.
When children outgrow their rear-facing car seats they should ride in a forward-facing child safety seat, in a back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of their particular seat.
Belt-Positioning Booster Seat
Once children outgrow their forward-facing car seat , they should ride in belt-positioning booster seats, in a back seat, until the vehicle seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lies across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest. All children under the age of 13 should ride in a back seat.
When children outgrow their belt-positioning booster seats, they can use the adult seat belt in a back seat, if it fits properly, (the lap belt lays across the hips/upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the center of the chest and shoulder). All children under age 13 should ride in a back seat.
Child Car Seat Laws
SUMMARY OF THE PENNSYLVANIA’S CHILD PASSENGER PROTECTION LAWS
(Act 53, 1983 / Act 22, 1993 / Act 229, 2002 / Act 81, 2011)
All drivers operating a passenger car, Class I and Class II truck, classic motor vehicle, antique motor vehicle or motor home shall securely fasten infants and children under 8 years of age in an approved child restraint/booster when riding anywhere in the motor vehicle, including the cargo area. The seat may be in any seating position equipped with a seat belt in the vehicle. (However, for maximum protection, a back seat is preferable.)
•All drivers transporting children under 4 years of age are responsible to securely restrain those children in an approved child passenger restraint system. (Primary Law)
a.Violators may be stopped as a primary offense for non-compliance of the Child Passenger Protection Law for children birth to age 4. Violators will be fined $75.00, plus Court Cost (adjusted annually); $45.00 Surcharge; $10.00 EMS Fund and $10.00 Administrative Costs.
b.The fine shall be dismissed if the person prior to or at his hearing displays evidence of acquisition of a child passenger restraint system/booster. Evidence shall include a receipt to the appropriate court officer, which evidences the purchase, rental, transferal from another child seat owner (notarized letter) or bailment from a child seat loaner program.
•All drivers transporting children 4 years of age or older but under 8 years of age are responsible to securely restrain those children in a seat belt system and an appropriately fitting child booster seat. (Primary Law)
a.Violators may be stopped as a primary offense for non-compliance of the Child Passenger Protection Law for children age 4 to age 8. Violators will be fined $75.00, plus Court Costs (adjusted annually); $45.00 Surcharge; $10.00 EMS Fund and $10.00 Administrative Costs.
b.The fine shall be dismissed if the person prior to or at his hearing displays evidence of acquisition of a child passenger restraint system/booster. Evidence shall include a receipt to the appropriate court officer, which evidences purchase, rental, transferal from another child seat owner (notarized letter) or bailment from a child seat loaner program.
An approved child passenger restraint system will be labeled to indicate that the child restraint conforms to all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
Fines collected are placed in a fund used to purchase child safety seats
for car seat loaner programs.
Civil immunity for child passenger safety technicians and lenders of car seats has been granted. No certified child passenger safety technician or organization acting in good faith, within the scope of the training, and without a fee or charge to the owner or operator of the vehicle, shall be liable for an act of omission that occurs in giving advice or assistance regarding the inspection, installation or adjustment of a car seat. No person or organization who lends child restraints shall be liable for any civil damages resulting from any acts or omission, except any act or omission intentionally designed to harm or any grossly negligent act or omission resulting in harm to another.
Hospitals are required to notify parents of the location of car seat loan programs in the community. It is recommended that hospitals also provide information on Pennsylvania's Child Passenger Safety law. Providing educational materials about the law and correct selection and use of car seats will assists families in keeping their children safe during travel.
Child Car Seat Check-Up
Before the Car Seat Checkup
Be prepared to learn, not just watch the CPS technician install the car seat. We’re trained to teach you.
All appointments must be scheduled. Appointment availability is based on the availability of our CPS technicians. If your child is already born, know your child’s weight and height, and bring your child with you. If possible, also bring another adult to help watch the child while you are learning.
If your child is already born, know your child’s weight and height, and bring your child with you. If possible, also bring another adult to help watch the child while you are learning.
Be sure to use the instructions that came with the child car seat and the instructions in your vehicle owner’s manual regarding car seats. Bring the car seat instructions and the vehicle owner’s manual with you to your appointment.
During the Car Seat Checkup
This one-on-one education typically takes 20-30 minutes, depending on your car seat and vehicle. The technician will take all the time you need until you feel comfortable that your car seat is used and installed correctly. During the checkup, a CPS Technician will:
• Fill out a form to note a variety of information, including the car seat type, location in vehicle and misuse observations, if any.
• Ensure that your car seat is appropriate for your child’s age, and size, and review factors affecting proper use.
• Review the car seat instructions and the vehicle owner’s manual to ensure that both are being followed correctly. (Remember to bring the vehicle owner’s manual with you.)
• Ensure that an appropriate seating position in the vehicle is being used.
• Check the car seat for recalls, visible damage and an expiration date.
• Watch you install the car seat(s) correctly using either the seat belt or LATCH system.
• Discuss the next steps for each child, such as when to graduate to the next type of car seat.
• Discuss the benefits of everyone riding properly buckled in, including all adults.
• Discuss safety in and around the vehicle.
• Answer any questions you may have, so ask away.
After the Car Seat Checkup
We consider a checkup success if you can answer yes to the following questions:
• Did you participate in the installation?
• Do you feel confident about installing and using the car seat correctly?
• Did we answer all your questions? If not, were you given another expert to contact or will the CPS technician follow up with you?