Program Coordinator: Sheriff Richard J. Devlin, Jr.
Program Administrator: Public Health Nurse Kathleen H. Chase
Upcoming child safety seat check events will be:
Flyer for the September 21, 2013 event at AAA Oneonta, NY
See also A Parents Guide to Buying and Using Booster Seats
The program is designed as an inspection and educational service. A typical inspection finds at least two errors in the installation and/or adjustment of the child safety seat. The technicians then assist the parents in the selection, installation and adjustment of the appropriate child passenger safety seat for their child. All seats and supplies are funded through a grant from the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Several problems may lead to the replacement of the safety seat. If the child is too heavy or too tall for the seat, if the seat has been in a crash or the seat is expired (over six years old), the technician will replace the problem seat with a new one compatible with the child and the vehicle in which it will be used.
One of the questions we are most frequently asked is, “What is the best seat to buy?” It is a question that is not easily answered. Technicians do not recommend a specific brand of seat. Instead, they instruct parents to buy a seat that will fit their child, install easily in their vehicle and most importantly is one they will use correctly every time.
Until a child reaches at least one year of age and the upper weight limit (rear facing) of the seat, the seat should remain rear facing, as the child’s neck muscles are not developed enough to support the child’s head. Ideally the child should remain rear facing until they are at least two years old.
Although New York State law only requires a child to be in a child safety seat until the age of eight, a child should remain in some type of child safety seat until they are four foot nine inches tall or they reach the upper weight limit of the seat. The seat belts in your vehicle are designed for someone who is 5’6” tall and weighs 125 pounds, thus the need for child safety seats.
- Rear facing infant seats will fit a child under 22 pounds.
- Most rear facing convertible seats will fit a child from 5 to 30 pounds.
- Forward facing convertible seats will fit a child up to 40 pounds.
- Forward facing only seats with harness will fit a child up to at least 40 pounds.
- Child Safety Seat harness limits have increased considerably on some models because research shows children are safest in a harness. Some limits are as much as 65 pounds; check the labels on your seat.
- Belt positioning boosters (without a harness) will fit a child up to 80 pounds, although some newer booster seats have an upper weight limit of 100 pounds.
These are only guidelines. Always consult the owner’s manual for your specific seat and vehicle and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations
If you have any questions concerning your child safety seat or would like to schedule an appointment to have your child safety seat inspected by a Certified Child Safety Seat Technician please call: Normal business hours: (607) 547-4316
All other times leave a message for a Child Passenger Safety Technician and someone will return your call.
The Child Passenger Safety Team also holds Child Seat Checkpoints throughout the year. These are advertised in your local paper and on local radio and on this website.
Websites of Interest
Governor's Traffic Safety Committee
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration