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Make Sure You Select the Right Child Car Safety Seat for Your Child

Posted 09-24-18.

(PLEASE NOTE: The Sevierville Police Department is participating in the National Child Passenger Safety Week, which takes place from September 23-29. As part of the event, SPD will conduct a child car seat check-up event on National Seat Check Saturday, September 29. Agencies across the nation will be holding child car seat events on that day. The SPD event will be at the Police Department (300 Gary Wade Blvd.) in the Municipal Complex from 10AM-2PM.)

Car seats and booster seats are the basic protection systems for passengers who are too small to get the full safety benefits from adult seat belts. The goal of car seats is to provide small children with the same protection, or better, that adults obtain from seat belts and other safety equipment built into a vehicle.

They are designed to keep children within the vehicle and close to their original seating position, to prevent contact with harmful interior surfaces or other occupants, and to provide “ride-down” by gradually decelerating the child as the vehicle deforms and absorbs energy from crash forces. For this to work properly, the right seat must be selected for the child’s height, weight, and developmental levels.

 

It’s also important to make sure the car seat, booster seat, or seat belt is in good condition (has not been in a crash, is not expired or recalled, no labels missing) and appropriate for the child’s age, height, weight, and developmental level.

NHTSA has a great web page for determining the correct safety device for your child. Click the following link to ensure you are protecting your child each and every time he/she is in a car. https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats.
TENNESSEE CHILD PASSENGER RESTRAINT LAW
For more information on Tennessee's Child Restraint laws, refer to T.C.A. 55-9-602.

Children under one (1) year of age, or any child, weighing twenty (20) pounds or less, must be secured in a child passenger restraint system in a rear facing position, meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards, in a rear seat, if available, or according to the child safety restraint system or vehicle manufacturer's instructions. (Note: If the child safety seat has a higher rear-facing weight rating, usually 30 or 35 pounds, it may be continued to be used in a rear-facing position so long as the child's weight permits. Check the manufacturers instructions accompanying the child safety seat for more information.)

Children age one (1) through age three (3), and weighing more than twenty (20) pounds, must be secured in a child safety seat in a forward facing position in the rear seat, if available, or according to the child safety restraint system or vehicle manufacturer's instructions.

Children age four (4) through age eight (8), and measuring less than four feet nine inches (4'9") in height, must be secured in a belt-positioning booster seat system, meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards in the rear seat, if available, or according to the child safety restraint system or vehicle manufacturer's instructions. (Note: If the child is not between age four (4) and age eight (8), but is less than four feet nine inches (4'9") in height, he/she must still use a seat belt system meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards.)

Children age nine (9) through age twelve (12), or any child through twelve (12) years of age, measuring four feet nine inches (4'9") or more in height, must be secured in a seat belt system. It is recommended that any such child be placed in the rear seat, if available. (Note: If the child is not between age nine (9) and age twelve (12), but is four feet nine inches (4'9") or more in height, he/she must still use a seat belt system meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards.)

Children age thirteen (13) through age fifteen (15) must be secured by using a passenger restraint system, including safety belts, meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards. Provision is made for the transportation of children in medically prescribed modified child restraints. A copy of Doctor's prescription is to be carried in the vehicle utilizing the modified child restraint at all times.

Children under age sixteen (16):
The driver of the car is responsible for making sure that children under age sixteen (16) are properly restrained and may be charged and fined $50.00 for violation of the law. If the child's parent or legal guardian is present in the car but not driving, the parent or legal guardian is responsible for making sure that the child is properly transported and may be fined for non-compliance.