New Car Seat Bill Leaves Some Confused

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn (WDEF) – Emily Maddux is carrying precious cargo, her daughter Madelyn and 18 month old, William.

Maddux adds, “Well we thought he was uncomfortable, maybe we should switch him around.”

That’s why many parents decide to turn their car seats around, so it’s forward facing.

However, a new bill in Tennessee would require your child to stay rear-facing until 2-years-old.

Becky Campbell, Program Coordinator with Hamilton County’s Safe Journey, says, “It gives more time for the muscles and tendons around the spinal cord to form and to tighten around that spinal cord, so that when the child goes forward, in a whiplash motion, the muscles and tendons will hold the spinal cord in place.”

The bill passed by both chambers of the Tennessee General Assembly, also says your child would have to ride forward-facing from age two until 5-years-old.

Sonny Purvis is on board, even if it does mean some parents will have to buy new car seats to fit within the weight requirements.

Campbell adds, “The majority of your car seats on the market, the harness weight only goes until 40 pounds.”

The last part of the bill says children need to be in booster seats until they turn 12-years-old or reach a height of 4-foot-9.

Before, you could ditch the booster seat when your child turned 8.

Maddux says, “I’m not to that stage, so I don’t know how that’s going to look or feel once they get to that age.”

Other parents worry that a teen in a booster seat is unnecessary or may look uncool to their peers, but experts say tough, it’s going to be the law and for good reason.

Campbell adds, “We want them up high enough that the lap belt is going across the bones, not across the abdomen.”

The bill now heads to Republican Governor Bill Haslam for a signature.


Categories: Hamilton County, Local News

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