Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of injury and death among children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, proper car seat use reduces the risk of death to children under one year of age by 71 percent. Children between the ages of one and four are 54 percent less likely to die in a vehicle collision when using a car seat. Compared against seat belt use alone, booster seats reduce the risk of serious injury by 45 percent for children between the ages of four and eight.
Car Seat Laws in Alaska
For children under 13 years of age, the following laws apply:
- Less than 12 months. Children under one year of age, or older than one year but weighing less than 20 pounds, must be secured in a rear-facing car seat. This type of seat is designed to prevent damage to your child’s neck and spinal cord. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to continue using a rear-facing car seat until the child is two years old.
- One to four years. Children between the ages of one and four and weighing in excess of 20 pounds, must be properly secured in an appropriate child restraint. This should be a five-point harness forward-facing car seat appropriate for your child’s height and weight.
- Four to eight years. Children between the ages of four and eight with a height of less than 57 inches (four feet, nine inches) and a weight under 65 pounds must use a car seat or booster seat. Once your child outgrows his forward-facing car seat, he needs a booster seat to position his seat belt over the stronger parts of his body.
- Eight to twelve years. Your child should continue to use a booster seat until he is big enough to fit in a seat belt safely. To fit properly, the lap belt must lie securely across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should be snug against the shoulder and chest, and never cross the neck or face.
You Need an Attorney
If your child has been injured or killed in a vehicle collision, you deserve compensation. Contact the Law Office of Ben Crittenden, P.C., by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.