Of all the cargo you transport in your car or truck, your children are the most precious and irreplaceable. Unfortunately, children are also the most vulnerable to injuries or even death when they are in a motor vehicle accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), injuries are the leading cause of death for children in the United States, and motor vehicle crashes are the top causes of child injuries. But the good news is that you can help prevent your child from suffering a serious injury if you are in a crash by making sure your child is restrained in a proper car seat or booster seat with a seat belt.
The State of New Hampshire is the only state in the country in which seat belt use is not mandated by law for adults. It is, however, law that any person under the age of 18 must wear a seat belt while in a moving vehicle in New Hampshire. The maximum base fine for the first offense is $50, though additional fees may apply.
Children under the age of 7 or up to 57 inches (4 feet 9 inches) tall must ride in a federally-approved safety seat or booster. The Department of Health and Human Services has five questions parents should ask before moving their child out of a booster seat.
- Can your child sit all the way back against the vehicle seat?
- Do your child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the vehicle seat?
- Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
- Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
- Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?