CHILD CAR SEAT INSPECTIONS

CHILD CAR SEAT INSPECTIONS

The New Milford Police Department is pleased to offer free Child Seat Inspections to any parent, grandparent or caregiver of a child who resides in New Milford. If you wish to have your seat inspected, contact either Sgt. Scott Petrie P.O. Mone or P.O. Conboy at the following phone number: 201-261-1400  > option # 1

Please make an appointment before you come to the department because the Officers are actively patrolling the Borough and may not be available for an inspection. If possible, bring your child with you, well fed and well rested. An inspection can take anywhere from a few minutes to over an hour depending on your needs.

For expectant Mothers or Fathers, have your seat installed and ready to go at least two weeks before your due date or scheduled C-Section date. Hospitals will not discharge any newborn without a car seat!

Please remember that the New Milford Police Department offers free inspections, not installations. You are expected to participate in the installation and are ultimately responsible for your child, the car seat, and its proper use.

It is important that every child is properly restrained at all times while in a vehicle. There are many choices in restraint systems and it is up to the parent to select one that is appropriate for both their child and their vehicle. While we do not recommend any one seat over another, we are happy to offer you these following guidelines while selecting and using a child restraint system:

Child Passenger Safety Law - New Jersey Legislation - P.L. 2015, c.50

The following recommendations will provide the safest way to transport your child according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Additionally, it will ensure compliance to the New Jersey Child Passenger Restraint Law. (Title 39:3-76.2a)  

Any child under the age of 8 years old and a height of 57 inches shall be secured as follows in the rear seat of a motor vehicle:  

  1. A child under the age of 2 years and 30 pounds shall be secured in a rear-facing seat equipped with a 5-point harness.
  2. A child under the age of 4 years and 40 pounds shall be secured as described in (a) until they reach the upper limits of the rear-facing seat, then in a forward-facing child restraint equipped with a 5-point harness.
  3. A child under the age of 8 and a height of 57 inches shall be secured as described in (a) or (b) until they reach the upper limits of the rear-facing or forward-facing seat, then in a belt positioning booster seat.
  4. A child over 8 years of age or 57 inches in height must be properly secured by a seat belt.

If there are no rear seats, the child shall be secured as described above in the front seat except that no child shall be secured in a rear-facing seat in the front seat of any vehicle that is equipped with an active passenger-side airbag. The aforementioned is acceptable if the airbag is de-activated.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Q - My son is 7 years old and is 58 inches tall. Is he required to ride in a booster seat?
  A - No. Although he is only 7 years old, he is over 57 inches tall and requires only a properly fitted seat belt.
Q - My daughter is 8 years old but only weighs 76 pounds. Does she need a booster seat?
  A - No. Once a child is 8 years of age, s/he no longer needs to ride in a booster seat, but s/he must be secured in a properly adjusted seat belt.

Note: While the children described above are exempt from the child restraint law, the seat belt may not fit them properly. The lap belt should lay across the child’s upper thigh (the pants pocket area) and across the chest and collar bone (so that it’s not cutting into the neck).

Q - How can I determine if my child will be properly protected by the vehicle’s seat belt? 
  A - Use the seat belt fit test on all children under 13 years of age to be sure they are big enough to safely use the adult seat belt without a booster seat.

 

â—¾Have the child sit all the way back on the vehicle seat. Check to see if the knees bend naturally at the seat edge. If they do, continue the test. If they do not - the child should continue to ride in a booster seat.

â—¾ Buckle the lap and shoulder belt. Be sure the lap belt lies across the upper legs (the pant’s pocket area). If it lays across the upper thighs, move on to the next step. If it does not, the child should continue to ride in a booster seat.

â—¾Be sure the shoulder belt lies on the shoulder or collarbone (and is not cutting into the neck). If it lies on the shoulder, move to the next step. If it is on the face or neck, the child should continue to ride in a booster seat. DO NOT place the shoulder belt under the arm or behind the child’s back!

â—¾Be sure that your child can maintain the correct seating position for as long as you are in the car. If your child begins to slouch or shift position so the safety belt contacts the face, neck, or abdomen, the child should continue to ride a booster seat until all the steps can be met.

Child Seat Recalls

It is important to know if your car seat is on a recall list. Every seat on a recall list can be found at the following websites.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration  1-888-327-4236

The University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center  1-800-672-4527

Other Resources:

For a list of list of child seat manufacturers  -  www.cpsboard.org/childmanu.htm

SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. is the national, non-profit organization dedicated to child passenger safety. Their mission is to help reduce the number of serious and fatal traffic injuries suffered by children by promoting the correct, consistent use of safety seats and safety belts -  www.carseat.org

American Association of Pediatrics

The AAP offer a similar car seat guide as above. They also answer some specific problems such as transporting premature babies of children with special needs.

National Center for the Safe Transportation of Children with Special Health Care Needs 1-800/620-0143

For more information and a list of car safety seats available for children with special needs, visit www.aap.org/healthtopics/carseatsafety.cfm.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

An independent, nonprofit, scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses — deaths, injuries, and property damage — from crashes on the nation's highways.

Remember that properly securing your child is the law! It does not matter who you are, where you live, how you drive, or what kind of car you drive, seat belts save lives and child seats save children’s lives.