If you are traveling to Florida this year parents should be aware of a new car seat law that went into effect on January 1st. To support this and help parents meet requirements of a new state law the Florida AAA announced that it would be giving away free child booster seats every Friday in January, while supplies last. Children must be at least 4 years old and weigh 40 pounds or more to qualify and must be present to receive the seat. Appointments are required so parents/caregivers who are interested should call their local AAA office for more information.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, every motor vehicle operator in Florida will be required to use a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device for children until age 6.
You don’t have to be a AAA member to get one a seat and your child does not need to be present.
The offer is open to parents of children between 4 and 8 years old who are 30 to 110 pounds and 40 to 57 inches tall.
Previously only children 3 and under were required to be in be in child restraint seats or booster. Now the new law requires children 6 and younger to be in child restraint seat for safety.
Each year, an average of 1,500 children die and 175,000 are injured in car crashes, which makes motor vehicle crashes a leading cause of death for children, according to the Auto Club Group Traffic Safety Foundation.
Generally the Car Seat Guidelines for parents are:
- Rear-Facing Seat – Birth until age 2 or when child reaches the upper height or weight limit of seat (typically around 35 pounds).
- Forward-Facing Seat – Your child should have a forward-facing seat with a harness until he or she reaches the manufacturer’s upper height or weight limit of the seat (typically 40-65 pounds).
- Belt-Positioning Booster Seat – Protect your child with this seat until he or she is at least 4’9’’ (typically 8-12 years of age). Proper positioning of your car’s safety belt system is crucial in preventing or minimizing injury in case of a crash.
- Lap and Shoulder Belts – Be sure the lap belt lies across the hips and the shoulder belt across the center of the shoulder and chest. Your child’s legs should bend comfortably at the seat’s edge, with his or her back resting flat against the back of the seat. Once the safety belt fits properly without a booster, your child no longer needs a special seat. All children under 13 should sit in the back seat.