Florida legislators are considering a series of changes to bring the state’s car seat requirements closer to national guidelines.
Child restraint systems reduce the risk of child injury in a crash by 71% to 82% compared to using seat belts alone. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Children in Florida are currently required to ride in a car seat until age 5. A new law under consideration in Congress requires that the child be held in some form until she is seven years old. national guidelines.
Child safety experts recommend staying in the booster seat until the adult’s seat belt fits correctly or until the child reaches at least 4’9″ (8 to 12 years old on average) .
The new law removes guidelines on a child’s height and weight, making age the only determining factor.
Lawmakers say the proposed law would give parents more flexibility in deciding what kind of car seat or booster is right for their child.
By law, children under the age of 2 must ride in a rear-facing child seat, and children between the ages of 3 and 4 can ride in a rear-facing or forward-facing restraint.
News4JAX sat down with James Brown, a former Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department police officer, to say that it’s not a bad idea to update how children are strapped to cars.
“No matter what speed the car is traveling at, if the car comes to a sudden stop, be it a collision or braking, the child will be propelled at the speed at which the car was traveling just before it came to a sudden stop. It could be sudden injury or even death,” Brown said.
He recommends that parents go beyond national and state guidelines to ensure their children are safe in the vehicle.
“Take your time to make sure your child is restrained in their seat and take the extra step,” he said. “Make sure you’re following the manufacturer’s recommendations on how to secure that seat to your vehicle.”
The Senate Transportation Committee is scheduled to discuss the bill on Tuesday. A version has also passed the House.
Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.
https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/2023/04/04/florida-lawmakers-consider-requiring-child-restraints-in-vehicles-for-children-up-to-7-years-old/ Florida legislators are considering mandating car seats for children up to 7 years old.