Since my nephew, is not my son—duh! I seem to have made a major car safety mistake. My father-in-law has been nagging me for a few days to buy him a car seat. I thought nothing of it and thought he was a little crazy thinking my five-year-old nephew would sit in a car seat—as if! He’s a big boy now. I guess my FIL got tired of me not listening and decided to get my attention by announcing that if I got into a car accident and my nephew wasn’t in a booster seat, my insurance coverage would be null and void ... he also threw in for a more dramatic effect that we’d be in really big trouble if something happened to him (medically) too ... now I’m not quite sure if that all is true or not, but he definitely caught my attention and if Murphy’s law were to play its hand. I’d best not put this declaration to the test.
Now we all know the rules about infants facing the rear and when they can be promoted to front facing I’m sure, but there are car safety rules up until they are thirteen years old! A little research yielded no threats of loss of insurance or anything, but definitely severe fines. Each state has their own restrictions but generally speaking... if they’re under the age of eight or 5' tall, they’d better be in a booster or risk a $50–$100 fine (in New York) or worse, severe injury in an accident. Also until they’re at least thirteen years old, they must remain in the back seat. You can also get another $50–$100 fine (on top of the booster-less) if they are caught sitting in the passenger seat (they most definitely should not be in the driver’s seat—duh!).
If you saying, darn, I thought I was done buy this kind of stuff ... not to worry, they are not expensive at all. For $20–$25 you can score a backless booster seat like the Graco one I purchased today. If you want a really cool Paul Frank one, you can get your little one a Clek Olli booster seat with the added LATCH safety system. I think that comes in real handy if it’s your child sitting in your car. The Graco is perfect for my little occasional passenger.
You can read more about Child Passenger Safety at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Web site.
You learn something new every day!