Many things come with the new year. While it is still a few months away Avera St. Anthony’s Hospital in O'Neill children’s car-seat safety professionals remind everyone that Nebraska law is changing.
The passage of LB42, which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019, says that all children 8 and younger must ride in motor vehicles correctly secured in an approved child safety seat or belt-positioning booster. Kids in that age-range must ride in the back seat, as long as it is equipped with seat belts.
Children age 2 and younger should ride in rear-facing car seats until they reach the height and weight limits established by the seat’s manufacturer.
Naturally all kids 8-18 must ride with secured seat belts or with boosters and belts. Drivers who fail to heed the new law can get fines and lose driver’s license points. Most importantly belts, boosters and federally approved safety seats mean one thing: kids are safer in the event of a crash.
“The law is only as good as the parents or driver who is abiding by it,” said Kate Kunz, LPNC, who serves as the Safe Kids North Central coordinator for Avera St. Anthony’s Hospital. “But it is a good reminder that all children should be as safe as possible when traveling in motor vehicles.”
Kunz also leads local efforts to help parents who are new to car seats and boosters. She reminds any parent with questions of Avera St. Anthony’s ongoing, monthly car-seat inspection station held just north of the hospital. A special version of that event is coming up Sept. 19.
“We’ll host a Graco car seat event at the Krotter Home & Auto north parking lot Sept. 19 as part of the observance of National Child Passenger Safety Week,” Kunz said. “We’ll have a number of nationally certified child-passenger safety technicians on-site to assist you with your child passenger safety needs and questions,” Kunz said. “The event also will include a heat demonstration set up to show how quickly a car’s interior can warm up and contribute to pediatric heat deaths.”
The event will be from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 305 W. Douglas that Wednesday. Those wishing to participate can call 402-336-5122 to set an appointment. Avera St. Anthony’s hosts its regular inspection service on Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each month.
“We do ask parents or guardians who want to get help with a booster or car seat to set appointments, so we can make sure we have time enough to help everyone,” said Kunz. “We also invite anyone who wants more insight on child safety in motor vehicles to join us.”
The Krotters Home & Auto Center, North Central District Health Department and Avera St. Anthony’s Hospital are sponsoring the event.