Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"
Q. I heard care seat laws recently changed, is so, what are the new requirements?
Dear Juneau Resident,
I checked in the the car seat experts in the Community Services Unit...prepare for an avalanche of information!
Those folks know their stuff!
The most recent change to the law was in 2009 when the State mandated booster seats for children between 4 – 7 years old until they are 4’9” or 65 lbs. Another recent change you might of heard about was in 2011 when the Academy of Pediatrics changed their recommendation for infants to ride rear facing up from 1 year old until they are 2 years old. This was not a change in the law, but a good guideline to follow for the safety of your children.
Alaska Law requires all children to be in an appropriate child restraint and the driver is responsible for all passengers under the age of 16.
Infants must be secured in a rear facing child safety seat until they are at least 1 year old and 20 lbs. However the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children remain rear facing until they are 2 years old.
Children 1 – about 4 years old must be secured in a child safety seat with a 5 point harness, these children can be forward facing.
Children 4 years old and 40 lbs – 8 years old and 65 lbs must be secured in a booster seat.
Seatbelts and airbags are designed for adult passengers, they can cause injury or death to children if they are not secured properly in an appropriate child safety seat. Children are safest riding in the back seat of a vehicle until they are 13 years old.
The Juneau Police Department has partnered with Safe Kids Alaska and provides child safety seat inspections free to the public. We have 2 certified child passenger safety technicians who can inspect your child safety seat to be sure they are in the correct type of seat, that its installed, and being used correctly. In addition to inspecting child safety seats we have a small supply of child safety seats that are available at a reduced rate for families who cannot afford to buy a seat from the store.
If you would like more information please contact Jennifer Adams or Sarah Dolan at 586-0600.