RCPD Offers Expert Help with Car Seat Safety
Safety comes first when driving with child passengers.
It is very important to make sure your child’s car seat is installed properly. The Rancho Cucamonga Police Department has a certified car seat technician on staff that can help install your child’s car seat and provide you with the latest news and current laws pertaining to child passengers. Maryann Herrarte earned her certification several years ago and has some advice for parents:
- Find the appropriate seat based on your child’s age and weight.
- Make sure it is installed properly.
- It is highly recommended that a child be restrained in a car seat with a five-point harness for as long as possible.
- Make sure the seat fits in your car properly.
- Parents should research and stay educated on current car seat design and laws.
- Try to avoid used car seats.
Car accidents remain the leading cause of death of children ages 1-13. Car seats and boosters provide safety for your child while traveling in a vehicle. Current California law requires children under the age of eight to be secured in a car seat or booster in the back seat. Children who are eight years of age, or have reached four-foot-nine inches in height, may be secured by a booster seat but, at a minimum, must be secured by a safety belt.
Herrarte wants parents to be mindful of the fact that car seats can actually expire. She explains that the plastic with which they are made can become less durable over the years, especially if it has been left out in the elements. Before you use a second hand car seat, know its history. How old is it? Has it ever been involved in a vehicle accident? Did the accident cause damage to the mechanisms of the seat? If you do not have the answer to these questions, we suggest you do not use it. If you have any questions or would like more information, please call Maryann Herrarte at (909) 477-2828.