If we were looking for a pro-car seat safety US state, Nebraska would be on the top of our list.
When we look back on 2016 records, 98% of children were safely secured in vehicles, following the car seat's law and restraint safety.
On the other side, many older children who surpass booster seats or car seats suffered from collision injuries.
Because of improper restraint installations, or simply not following the law, many young lives suffer tragic outcomes.
Young children are put through a more significant risk by experiencing head and spinal injuries.
According to NHTSA research, frontal vehicle collisions are the leading cause of more significant injuries.
To prevent even minor injuries, we advise you follow these Nebraska car seat laws that were recently updated.
Car Seat Law
If you didn't already know, Nebraska revised the car seat laws in 2019, including the following changes:
- Children under two must be in a rear-faced restraint system.
- Children age eight and under must be provided with a booster seat or a car seat.
- Eight-year-olds and under are only allowed to ride in the back seat with the proper restraint system.
Upon violation of these laws, the state of Nebraska requires you to pay a $25 fine.
You may even assess your driver's license, depending on the gravity of the violation.
Moreover, all daycare institutions must provide a proper restraint system for children each time they travel.
As for over 18-year-olds, they are not allowed to ride in cargo areas.
Other passengers and the driver in the vehicle must be in a proper restraint system.
For Nebraska and most of the other states, car inspection is free.
They allow you to check in your car and inspect it for any car seat damages.
We recommend you to do this, especially if you just bought a new car seat or a booster and worried about its safety.
1. Rear-Facing Seats
Under the new law updates, the American Academy of Pediatrics highly recommends that children under two years are secured in rear-faced seats.
At all times, it is advised you check the car seat manufacturer's recommendations about the weight and height of your child.
Along with that, you can determine if your two-year-old is not ready for a forward-faced seat or if you should wait until they fulfill the recommended criteria.
You should also know that rear-face seats provide the best child protection when the vehicle is moving.
With its comfortable headrest, it gives the optimum head support for your youngest ones.
2. Front-Faced Seat
When your baby reaches two years, he/she is ready for a forward-faced seat.
But, woah, wait a minute.
Don't you have to check the car seat manufacturer's recommendations regarding weight and height? You got that right.
We talked about this subject in the previous section and the importance of checking it first.
Front-faced seats usually come with a 5-point harness that is one of the best safety attachments for younger children.
By keeping your child safe, the harness also limits their movement and keeps them in place throughout the ride.
Some parents go for a convertible seat that changes from a rear-faced to a forward-facing seat in seconds.
This is an amazing alternative if you are cutting down on budget but still want to keep children safe in the car.
You won't have to buy an additional seat when the child is old enough for a forward seat, only convert it, and you are good to go.
3. Booster Seat Laws
As soon as the child outgrows the forward-facing seat and reaches 4’’9' height, they are ready for a booster seat.
Booster seats help raise the child in a position to fit the lap and shoulder belt comfortably.
On that topic, the shoulder belt can never be under the arms, and the lap belt should go over the lap-not the stomach.
Ensure that children's booster seats are properly secured and protect the chest and collarbones for optimal safety throughout the ride.
For these types of seats, you should know that there are two kinds you can choose from:
1. A backless booster seat is for vehicles with a proper headrest that protects the child's neck, back, and shoulders.
2. Boosters with a headrest are reserved for those whose car does not have a proper headrest or if you feel like it does not serve the adequate protection.
Whichever one is the right for you, remember that it has to be pre-installed.
Boosters need to have a lap and shoulder belt that go over the right areas.
As we already mentioned above, children should be secured in a booster seat until they reach eight.
If your child does not properly fit in a booster seat, then it's still not the right time to use one.
There is no shame in keeping children secured in forward-faced seats until they meet the advised height and weight recommendations.
Here is a helpful video on booster seats.
Front-ride Seat: How Old Should Your Child Be for Them?
From the 2019 law updates, it is stated that children under eight years old have to ride in the back seat while those who are 18 and under must be in a proper protection system.
You should never, by any means, install a rear-faced seat in the front seat.
We can't even begin to specify all the hazards that may occur if you do so.
Can You Leave Children Unattended in the Car?
We will keep it short on this topic by saying that it is illegal to leave under 6-year olds alone in the car.
You can read more on this in the link and also educate on the Child Protection Act.
Read more —
Can You Smoke in the Car With Children Present?
In Nebraska, there is still no law on banning smoking in the car with a child. However, we would personally advise you not to do so.
Secondhand smoke exposure has proved to be linked with numerous child illnesses.
The youngest ones are put in the risk if you smoke in front of them.
Because of the undeveloped immune systems, children are put in great danger.
Do You Need to Replace the Car Seat After an Accident?
Even though there are no laws for doing so in Nebraska, we would advise you a couple of things.
Since car seats have a six-year life span, you should replace them after that time has passed.
After an accident occurs, likely, a car seat is not valid anymore for proper protection.
If you feel like you cannot trust the safety program in a car seat anymore, it is best to look for another model.
Here is a helpful list by NHTSA recommendations.
Where Can You Get Car Seat Help in Nebraska?
Following Nebraska, car seat laws brings you one step closer to providing your kids with a safe trip.
If you plan a trip to Nebraska, we guarantee this list of updated laws can be a lifesaver.
Traveling with children can sometimes present a challenge, but let's work together in protecting them throughout the ride.