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Child Seat Safety RulesAs a new parent, there are so many things to remember. Not only diaper bag, clothes, bibs, etc. but also the proper child safety equipment. What are the child seat safety rules in Oregon?

One of the most important child safety equipment you will need is a car seat.

Car seats are mandatory to keep your child safe until he/she is a certain age/weight.

For more detailed wording, you may check out ORS 811.210 – 811.225. The failure to use safety belts or child restraints correctly is a Class D traffic violation. There is a $110.00 fine which was effective January 1, 2012.

Oregon’s new booster seat law went into effect on July 1, 2007.  This new law, SB480 stats the follow:

Any child over 40 lbs must remain in a booster seat until they reach age 8 or they are 4 ft. 9 inches.

Any infant must remain rear-facing until they reach 20 lbs and are 1 year of age.

Any child who are age 8 or over the height requirement must be in a safety belt.

Any child over 1 year of age and between 20 and 40 lbs must be in a forward-facing safety seat. This seat must have a minimum of 40 lbs.

When the child is ready to use the safety belt there are requirement for that as well. The belt must fit them property, which means when the child is secured, the lap belt is low across the upper thighs and the shoulder strap is over the collarbone and far from the neck.

As the 2012 Oregon motor vehicle traffic crashes show, there were almost 50,000 crashes in that year. Out of that number, 5,525 participants were children. 8 children were killed in motor vehicle accidents. Which means about 22.8% of all injured passengers were children from age 0 to 14.

It is important to make sure your child is in the booster seat correctly.

 What do child seat safety rules say about BELT OR BOOSTER?

Below is a great excerpt from the ODOT site. 

Belt fit can vary greatly from one vehicle to another and one child to another. If your child meets Oregon’s legal requirements for moving from a booster seat to safety belt but you still have doubts about whether your child fits in the belt in your particular vehicle, then the following simple test can help. Place your child in the vehicle without a booster seat and then ask these questions. Until you can answer YES to all of the questions, your child should stay in a booster seat.

1. Can the child sit all the way back against the vehicle seat?

2. Do the child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the seat?

3. Does the shoulder belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?

4. Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?

5. Can the child stay comfortably seated like this for the whole trip?  

If you are unsure about your car seat, there are multiple locations in different cities around Oregon to have your booster seat check by a professional.

Just in Portland/Multnomah County there are 4 locations to choose from. American Medical Response, Doernbecher, Legacy Emanuel and DHS Gresham. Check out this website for more information: oregonimpact.org

If you are in a car crash and have a car seat in the car the at fault insurer will pay the purchase price of your car seat. Unless a receipt cannot be locate you can always print a comparable model from the web and the insurer will pick up this cost in the property damage settlement.

There will be plenty of other things to worry about with a child, but don’t let child seat safety rules be one.

Damaged car seats after an accident

If you had a car accident and your young child was involved you may be wondering what happens with a child car seat involved in an accident. The at fault insurance company will pay for your child’s car seat even if it outwardly does not appear damaged. It is difficult to figure out if the child safety seat may have been damaged so the at fault insurance will usually be responsible.

Todd Peterson, Oregon accident attorney on the telephone

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