In the case of an accident, a child's head and spine are better protected if their car seat is rear facing. One study shows that children ages two and under are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in a collision if they face the back. I know they might appear to be squished, but I wouldn’t recommend turning them unless they absolutely can’t fit. Children who are 40 pounds or 40 inches are exempt from the law and can face forward, but while they may be exempt from the law, they are not exempt from the laws of physics. Rear facing is safer. Please take a moment to click this link.
The current California Law also requires a car seat or booster seat until your child is 8 years or 4 ft 9 inches. Previously the requirement was 6 years or 60 pounds. Height parameters make more sense than the previous weight ones. For a child to safely transition into a booster, we look beyond the child's age/height/weight. There's another set of criteria to help determine if your child is ready to transition to a booster.
The criteria is as follows:
2. Minimum of 4 yrs old
3. There is a lap & shoulder belt in child's seating position
4. The Child can be trusted to sit properly for the entire trip, every trip - even while asleep. This means no slouching (back straight up against seat), no leaning to either side, no playing with the belt, etc... Even unsupervised.
1. Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
2. Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
3. Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
4. Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?
The contact person is Ingrid. Appointments need to be made ahead of time. You do not need to be a AAA member to take advantage of this free service.
If you want to take the trek up to Mill Valley. The AAA office there is at 750 Redwood highway.The technicians there are Wayne 415-380-6031 and Travis 415) 488-2905.They do the inspections on Wednesdays and Fridays, but they also say you will do best to plan in advance. You can probably get it taken care of within the month.
This is very popular and is by appointment only. Please make an appointment as far in advance as possible. The woman on the phone there said that her preference is for people to call as soon as that pregnancy test comes back positive! ( I assume she was partially joking, but you get the gist.) When I called this week to make sure all my info is up to date, the woman on the phone told me that the current wait time is almost 2 months.
They try to have an officer at all of the local police stations who is trained to do the car seat safety inspections. Call the number above for more info.
By appointment only. Same day appointments are sometimes available.
has a technician at both of their existing locations
4400 Telegraph Ave, Oakland,510-547-7040 Mon-Sat( ) Sun(12-5)
556 San Mateo Ave, San Bruno, 650-588-7644
Appointments are needed but reasonable. You may be able to get same day service mid week. Weekends are trickier. Inspection and installation are free if you purchased the seat through them. If you got a seat from somewhere else, they will still do a free inspection, but any adjustment or installation will be $40.00.
(national highway traffic safety association)
or AAA to break in right away. In this case, our little patient had been as happy as can be, hitting lock over and over again and grinning at us through the window.
Thanks to one of my patients who read the post last year and then shared this link
Special thanks to Kira Beer for her assistance with this post!
One of the wise Mamas out there shared additional tips. (Thanks Jackie!!!)
Your toddlers weight is an important factor when making the switch from the latch system to the car belt.
Also, although the middle of the back might be the safest place in the car. Some cars don't have adequate space http://thecarseatlady.