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Child Safety Seat Law in NC

Posted: Sun Jan 03, 2021 2:39 pm
by MSI
From INCR Q: Any members on here from North Carolina or familiar with where I can find compiled laws for child safety restraints out of North Carolina? Working a crash where the child appears way too small for the booster she was in but need the law and not just the recommendations.

Our First Response:
  • Hello fellow NC resident!
    My brother Stan McHenry, retired from Durham police department after 30+ years is also an INCR member and teaches child safety restraint classes all over the state (has been for years)
    So i expect he can get you the information.you want/need/etc.
    However
    He's currently at the tail end of a luxurious stay at the COVID Hotel (he's been in hospital, it was rough for a while, but he's hoping to break loose today, and once home no doubt he will be up to txting, emails, etc)
    i'm sending the message to him and will let you know.
    Be careful folks!
    COVID ain't fun and can hit any of us!
My Brother Stan McHenry's response:
  • BuckleUp NC.org would provide the recommendations and the laws as written. As it relates to booster seats specifically, the law tends to reflect the limitations imposed by the restraint manufacturer.
    I am a longtime Nationally Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician Instructor having held those titles since 1999. I am also a 30+ year police officer specializing in tactical traffic enforcement, crash investigation and crash reconstruction.
    I am currently recovering from a battle with Covid 19 in the hospital in Raleigh, NC and will likely be in this capacity for several more weeks.
And his second response:
  • Although many child seat manufacturers allow for booster seat use as early as two, sometimes with a weight component, in my thousand upon thousands of child safety seat fittings, have I ever seen a child physiologically or mentally or behaviorally mature enough to be trusted to remain in a seated position where the booster seat was or would have been of any benefit whatsoever.
    Children, prematurely placed in a booster seat, find themselves fending for themselves where the shoulder belt portion of the system that must restrain the child in a crash, is high across the neck or alongside the face, either being usually very early in a trip and mightily uncomfortable.
    Because parents are often unaware of the dire consequences they place their children in and either out of ignorance or convenience or some of both, continue these practices.
    When confronted with the uncomfortable situation, the child will often remove the shoulder portion of the system from in front of them and place it where it is more comfortable, usually behind the child’s own back. Unfortunately, this act in and of itself, places the child in horrible jeopardy.
    With the upper body restraint removed from the equation, the remaining lap portion is artificially high on the hips and likely loose. Any subsequent loading in a frontal type crash (the most common) concentrates forces along a line above the hips, compressing small intestines, spleen and liver.
    “Seat belt syndrome” is the generic term that brings all of the worst that can happen into focus. The consequences are obvious.
    The child will also often be dislodged from the booster seat, either partially or totally ejected, again with potential horrific consequences.
    If you were to wish to illustrate this phenomenon, commonly available “Safe Kids” training seats and dolls are a great asset.
    We often illustrate to parents at State and County Fairs, exhibitions and the like using the actual child.
    This act really brings into focus the problem and potential consequences. In this scenario, I have rarely seen a child leave with out either having been moved back into a five point harnessed seat or without serious instructional intervention. Hope this helps...