Thursday, April 19, 2018 - by Safe Journey, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office
Have you thought about who and how your children are traveling on the roadways? With the crazy, busy days of summer just around the corner, it’s time to put a plan in place.
1. Which kids are still riding in either a car seat or a booster seat? According to Tennessee’s law, children must ride in an appropriate child device (car seat or booster) until the age of 9 AND 4’9” tall. Many of our children may not be tall enough until 12 years of age, so they must stay in their booster seat.
2. Does everyone that will be driving the kids have the necessary car seats or booster seats?
3. And, do they know how to use them correctly- every ride, every time?
If grandparents or older caregivers will be in charge of driving your children, here are a few tips to consider.
“Back in the day” transporting children in cars looked a lot different than it does today. Unless we teach our grandparents and caregivers, they won’t know about all of the changes in the car seat world. They want to keep the kids safe, but they don’t always know the best way to do it. Grandparents just need to be informed. Sometimes it helps to not only share how to do it right, but why it’s important.
Many grandparents tell us that car seats are hard to use due to physical challenges, decreased strength or vision problems. It might be a good idea for the parent to install the car seat into the caregiver’s car. You can, also, find an ease of use rating chart for car seats listed on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.
Having your car seat inspected by a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician is always a good idea. The technician will check that your car seat or booster seat properly fits the child, is in good working order and has not been recalled or expired, and is installed correctly in the vehicle. The technician will also explain how and why to use the seat.
Safe Journey, at the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, conducts weekly car seat checkpoints around Hamilton County. The schedule can be located at hcsheriff.gov under the uniform services tab.