SOUTHINGTON - The Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington (ECCS) and the Southington Police Department will be hosting a free child car seat safety check on Wednesday.
The check will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Southington Drive-In at 995 Meriden Waterbury Turnpike. There is no rain date scheduled.
“Connecticut’s new car seat safety regulations have updated weight and age requirements and impact all children under the age of eight,” said Joanne Kelleher, director of the Early Childhood Collaborative of Southington. “Parents and grandparents tell me that they struggle with car seat installation and getting their child to fit comfortably so this is an opportunity to have a trained expert help them.”
The police department has several certified child passenger safety seat officers to perform the checks, which will occur on a first-come, first served basis. The ECCS will distribute numbered tickets and to drivers when they arrive.
As this is an educational event, any installation or usage issues identified during the car seat safety check will be corrected and the police will not be issuing tickets for car seat violations.
The new regulations list age and weight requirements that the car seat must meet.
The following are the new regulations concerning safety seats:
n Infants must remain rear-facing until they are a minimum of 2 years old and 30 pounds. This is an increase of 1 year and 10 pounds. Rear-facing car seats are not allowed in the front passenger seat with an operable airbag.
n Toddlers can ride either rear-facing or forward-facing in a child restraint system equipped with a five-point harness until 5 years and 40 pounds.
n Children between 5 and 8 years old and between 40 and 60 pounds can ride in a booster seat secured by a seat safety belt, forward-facing in a child restraint system equipped with a five-point harness, or rear-facing. Under the previous law this section referred to children 6 years old and younger.
n Children who are at least 8 years old and 60 pounds, “tweens” and teens must be in a seat belt whenever they ride in a vehicle. It is further recommended that children should ride in the back seat until they are 13 years old.
n All people and objects should be properly restrained whenever they are in a vehicle. Loose cargo in an SUV can be especially dangerous if a child is in a rear facing seat.
Car seat safety checks are also available by appointment from the Southington Police Department.
For more information, visit southingtonearlychildhood.org/car-seats-laws.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.