By Suzanne Potter
This story was originally published by Public News Service
If you threw out the booster seat in your car when your child reached six years of age, you may need to buy a new one, due to a change in Nevada state law taking effect this week.
Children who are shorter than four feet nine inches tall will now need to use a booster or car seat, regardless of age.
Andrew Bennett, public information officer for the Nevada Office of Transportation, said the old rule was based on weight and age.
“The previous law was 60 pounds and six years old,” Bennett explained. “The weight isn’t as impactful as the height.”
Bennett pointed out the law is intended to make sure kids’ seatbelts are properly positioned across the chest.
“If the seatbelt is riding too high, it’ll literally ride on their neck,” Bennett noted. “And if you’re in a crash, that seatbelt could have the potential to do more harm than good.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, kids’ lap belts must lie across their upper thighs, not the stomach. And children should not be allowed to put the shoulder belt under an arm or behind their back, because it could lead to severe injuries in a crash.