New Law Would Require Middle School Children To Use Car Seats

It looks like Washington DC is taking a stand, or should I say seat? The state is stepping up its car seat regulations, thanks to a new law signed by Gov. Jay Inslee. The law states your child could be sitting in a booster seat longer than expected, once it goes into effect on January 1, 2020.

According to the new rules, if your child is older than 4 but shorter than 4 feet and 9 inches and they have outgrown their child harness seat, they must use a booster seat. This means most children will need this until they are between 10 to 12, which is when a child is in Middle School. I don’t know about you, but this kind of seems a little bit ridiculous to me because I’m in my min 20’s and I am 5’2. I didn’t reach 5’2 until I was in eighth grade…so, yeah. I would have probably worn this until I was in 6th grade, which sucks.

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Still, the law states that children under 2 must use a rear-facing car seat. Children between the ages of 2 and 4  should use a forward-facing harness seat. They should also use this until they reach the appropriate height and weight requirements, typically up to 65 pounds.

What happens if your child is not in a booster seat? Well, as expected, drivers will be ticketed if their child is under the age of 16 and is not appropriately protected in the car. This includes them wearing a seatbelt with a shoulder and lap strap once they are old enough to leave the harness seat or booster.

According to Car Seat Safety instructor, Sue Emery, she believes the new law will help clarify what is best for kids and is necessary to keep children out of the emergency room. Emery stated the new law is actually backed up by the American Academy of Pediatrics. So, is it safe? Yeah sure. But I don’t know if many people will follow this, especially since these children are 12 and people already don’t follow these safety measures as is. Still, props to you Washington for trying to keep our children safe. I’ll back you up on this one.

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Author: Silke Jasso

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