Preventing Auto Injuries with Child Restraint Systems

In the State of Oregon, there are specific laws regulating the use of Child Restraint Systems (CRS) such as car seats and booster seats to help prevent auto injuries in children.

Oregon Regulations:
  • younger than 1 year or 20 pounds or less must be in a rear facing child safety seat;
  • 7 or younger: 40 pounds or less must be in a child safety seat; more than 40 pounds but 4 feet and 9 inches or less must be in a safety system that elevates the child so that an adult seat belt fits properly
  • Adult safety belts are permissible for children taller than 4 feet and 9 inches; 8 through 15 years old.
Age at which children must be in a restraint or booster seat (clickable).

Map of USA with Link to Insurance Institue of Highway Safety
Please note, however, that these laws do not necesarily represent optimal restraint for children. It has been reported that 80% of children are improperly restrained in vehicles. This is due in part to a lack of knowledge on the part of parents as to what constitutes the optimal child seat/restraint system as well as a poor understanding of how to place and secure them properly.

The following are recommendations for child seat systems:
  1. Rear-facing seats, which include infant and convertible seats, are used from birth to one year and 9.07 kg (20 lb). Forward-facing seats, which include 5-point harness, T-Shield, Tray-Shield, Toddler/Booster combinations, and integrated seats, are recommended for children over 1 year of age, weighing 9.07 to 18.1 kg (20 to 40 lb) and up to 101.6 cm (40 inches) or taller, as long as the child is comfortable.
  2. Rear-facing convertible seats can be converted to forward facing seats. These include the 5-point harness, T-Shield or the Tray Shield.
  3. Toddler/Booster combinations are considered forward facing seats while the internal harness components are used. When the child reaches the weight limits for the internal harness, the harness is removed and the seat is used to boost the child high enough so the vehicle safety belt is positioned correctly. At this point this combination seat is considered a booster seat.
  4. Booster seats, belt positioning high or no back seat and shield booster seat (which is no longer recommended due to lack of upper body protection), are designed for children 18.1 kg (40 lb) and over, up to 139.7 em (4 '7" or 55 inches) tall, and able to sit still and wear the lap/shoulder belt correctly (Safety Belt Safe, 2000). The correct seat type for a specific child cannot be determined based on age alone since children grow and develop at different rates. Weight, height and developmental stage must also be considered.

post signature

post signature

Facebook Tweet It! Delicious Stumble