Mr. Henry scores a bulls-eye with his column on New Jersey’s new car seat laws. I would like to expand a couple of his points, however.
First, the real reason for car seats is that children are not properly protected by standard seat belts. The general reason for this is not weight, but height, more specifically, torso height. (Infants also have some flexibility issues that require 5-point restraint.) A 10-year-old who weighs 70 pounds but is almost 5 feet tall is much better protected by a standard seat belt than a 7-year-old who weighs 80 pounds but is only 4 feet tall. Age and weight are commonly used in lieu of height measurements, but in today’s obese society, 6 year olds can easily weigh 80 pounds. Here in San Antonio, it is not uncommon to see kids who gain 20 pounds for every year of age. That’s right. We have 100 pound 5-year-olds. In a car crash, your weight doesn’t really matter. Everyone turns into a rag doll. So in other words, this is a half-empty (or half-full) gesture. A much better and environmentally friendly solution would be to have adjustable seat belts for school-age kids.
Second, car seats are to be replaced at least every 5 years because the plastic weakens over time. This means that you will have to buy several car seats over the life of a family. And yes, car seats do take up room. But I guess New Jersey has plenty of landfills.p>And third, any safety measure has to be used properly in order for it to work. Car seats are hassles, but they do save lives and misery. Every state in the Union has mandated child safety seat laws for kids less than 4 years old, but I often see toddlers and infants ejected from cars during accidents. Do people really want to save lives? Then enforce the laws already on the books. br> — Andrew J. Macfadyen, M.D. br> Assistant Professor br> Pediatric Critical Care br> U. of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio /p>
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online