Do you know the essential rules about keeping your baby or small child safe? Arizona car seat laws are designed to ensure proper usage of car seats so that infants and small children are as safe as possible. No one plans for a car accident to happen, but the reality is they do. Knowing Arizona car seat laws will not only keep your children safe, but they will also keep you from being ticketed for breaking the law.
Car Seat Installation
It’s vital that your car seat is properly installed, so your infant or child is safe in case of an accident. If a child seat is facing the wrong direction or not properly secured, the seat could be a reason for injury rather than a source of protection.
It can be difficult to understand the exact rules and regulations simply by reading the law. If you’re unsure about installing your car seat, contact your nearest Fire Department location and ask them to perform a free car seat check for you. You can also consult a certified child passenger safety technician to conduct a car seat check. AAA’s certified technicians can be reached by calling 602-241-2945.
Proper Car Seat Positioning
Once you have the car seat installed, you’ll want to position it properly. The correct positioning varies depending on the age of your child and the type of car seat.
Infant car seats are for children up to 22 pounds or 29” tall. It must face the rear of the car and should never be used in the front seat, where the airbag can cause serious injury or death. All straps should be pulled snugly. When the infant faces the back, a crash, swerve, or sudden stop will be less likely to injure him or her. Household infant carriers and cloth carriers are not designed for protection and should not be used.
For children up to 40 pounds, or up to 40” tall, you can use a convertible seat. It should be placed in a reclined rear-facing position. After your child is at least one-year-old and at least 20 pounds, you can face the seat forward and place it in the upright position in the back seat of your vehicle.
Booster seats are for children under eight years old, more than 40 pounds, and 4’9” or shorter. A backless or high-back booster seat is perfect for children who outgrow the convertible seat. These should be used in conjunction with the shoulder and lap belt in the back seat of your vehicle.
Keep in mind that no booster car seat is designed to be used in the front seat of your vehicle.
What is the New Law in Arizona?
In 2012, Arizona changed its child seatbelt laws to extend to older children than were previously covered. The new rule had two parts:
- Any child under five years old must be secured in a child restraint system.
- Any child at least five years old but under eight years old, who is also 4’9” tall or shorter must be secured in a child restraint system.
The purpose of the new law is to provide additional security for children who have outgrown traditional car seats, but still need adjustments to ride safely in the back seat of a vehicle. The shoulder and lap belts in the back seat of a vehicle may not adequately protect a younger, smaller child in case of an accident. A booster seat helps position the child so that safety is maximized.
Many parents didn’t realize that standard seatbelts didn’t function fully for smaller, younger passengers. This law is better because it helps Arizonians understand and implement the best position their child to minimize injury for children in motor vehicles.
Keep in mind that the rules and laws discussed in the article are specific to Arizona. Every state is different, but if you live in or travel through Arizona, it’s important to know and follow Arizona car seat laws.
Helpful Tips for Child Passenger Safety
Keeping your child safe in the car can seem like a daunting task if your child likes to squirm, climb around the back seat, or play with toys on car trips. Here are some helpful tips to keep your child safe:
- Be sure to choose toys that children can safely play with in the car. Some toys can injure a child in a crash, so only choose toys that are soft and will not hurt if it flies through the air.
- Keep everyone in the family buckled up at all times. It’s important for parents and other adults to set a good example.
- Never leave your child alone in the car, even for a short time. Not only could someone kidnap or injure your child, but you also run the risk of heat or cold-related injury or even death. Temperatures inside your car can rise or fall quickly, causing heatstroke or frostbite.
If you have additional questions about Arizona child seat laws, or need a consultation regarding an injury in a car accident, contact the Law Office of Sonja Duckstein. Call 602-212-0202 today!