Letters to the Editor

Update child passenger safety laws

Iowa ranks fourth for child fatalities from car accidents, following only Mississippi, New Mexico and North Dakota. In 2016, according to a report by Safewise, 24 Iowa children under the age of 14 died.

Iowa laws do not conform to evidence-based best practices as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics:

1. Infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing seat until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the seat’s manufacturer, usually 2 years or more.

2. Next, children use a forward-facing seat with a harness up to the weight or height allowed by the seat’s manufacturer.

3. They then use a belt positioning booster seat until the vehicle lap and shoulder seat belt fits properly, which is typically when they’ve reached 4 feet, 9 inches in height and are between 8 and 12 years old.

4. Children 13 and under should be restrained in rear seats once they’ve left booster seats.

Rear-facing car seats better support the head, neck and spine of infants and toddlers in a crash, and they are five times safer during a side crash. Please contact your state representatives, senators, and Gov. Kim Reynolds about the urgent need to change Iowa’s outdated child passenger safety laws.

Carol Sula

Dubuque

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