How Does Iowa Law Differ From the New Child Restraint Guidelines?

We all want the best for our children, and as parents we have the job of ensuring that our children are safe and healthy. However, sometimes Iowa car accidents occur that are outside of our control, and as a parent you need to know that you have done everything to protect your child. This includes making sure that your child is seated in the right car seat for their age, height, and weight, and with proper use of a child restraint system.

New recommendations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), consistent with the advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), have brought new focus to the issue of child safety. The new 2011 recommendations every Iow parent should know regarding child safety restraints and car seats include:

  • It is recommended that children stay in rear-facing car seats until they reach the age of two or the maximum weight and height limits of their car seats, per the manufacturer's instructions.
  • It is advised that older children stay in booster seats until they have reached four feet nine inches and they are between the ages of 8-12.

Because child passenger restraint requirements depend on the weight, height, and age of a child, it is important for parents to get their child seats checked by an inspector every time they switch car seats from a rear-facing infant seat to a toddler facing forward seat, and then to a booster seat. If you are contemplating moving your child into the next size of seat, keep in mind that the safest place for your child to ride is in a five-point harness restraint for as long as their age, height, and weight permit.

Although Iowa law suggests that an infant stay in a rear-facing seat until one year old or 20 pounds, AAP advises parents to keep their children in rear-facing car seats until the age of two. A rear-facing car seat will distribute the force of a collision over a child's body, and supports the spine and neck of a child better. Also, research has shown that children under the age of two are about 75% less likely to die in a traffic accident when they are properly secured in a rear-facing car seat.

These guidelines are developed to protect your child should a Cedar Rapids car accident occur. Although Iowa car seat laws are a little more lenient than these new guidelines from AAP, as a parent it is important that you understand what Iowa laws state and what they are lacking.

If your child was injured as a result of a careless driver or defective child restraint, it is important that you talk with an experienced Iowa accident attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Brady Preston Gronlund today to talk with a skilled Cedar Rapids personal injury lawyer in a free legal consultation at (319) 866-9277.