New Louisiana child seat law goes into effect on Thursday
A new Louisiana child safety seat law goes into effect on August 1, 2019. Parents and caregivers need to be informed of the new regulations and prepare to adjust seats as needed.
The new law keeps children in more protected restraint systems and safer positions until they are older, LHSC Executive Director Lisa Freeman said.
"We have a law that is considered a model for other states to follow, but our goal is to make sure it is followed here in Louisiana," Freeman said. "I urge anyone who transports a child in a motor vehicle to inform themselves about the new law and to ensure their child is properly restrained in the right seat in the right position."
The new law requires children in a motor vehicle to remain in the most protected category of child restraint for a longer period of time. Children must remain in car seats, boosters or the back seat of vehicles for as long as is appropriate for a child's age, and according to the car seat manufacturer's instructions for height and weight limitations. The new law also requires that all children ride in the back seat of vehicles with lap and shoulder belts until they are 13 years old.
NEW SAFETY LAW:
Birth to 2 years: Ride rear-facing in an infant or convertible child safety seat
2 years and outgrown rear-facing seat: Ride in a forward-facing child safety seat with an internal harness
4 years and outgrown forward-facing seat: Ride in a belt-positioning child booster seat using a lap shoulder seat belt
9 years old or outgrown booster: Ride restrained with a lap shoulder selt belt secured correctly on the vehicle seat
Younger than 13 years old: Ride in the rear seat of a vehicle when available and properly restrained
(9-year-old category must pass the 5 step test: The seat belt fits correctly when the child sits all the way back against the vehicle seat, the child's knees bend over the edge of the vehicle seat, the belt fits snugly across the child's thighs and lower hips and not the child's abdomen, and when the shoulder strap snugly crosses the center of the child's chest and not the child's neck)
Louisiana State Police produced a video outlining how the new law works. The video can be viewed on the LHSC Facebook page under "videos." LHSC also maintains a list of fitting stations where parents, grandparents and caregivers can get a free child seat installation from a qualified technician.