Child safety seat check in Hamilton

Parents, grandparents, and other caregivers often have questions about when their child is ready for the next stage when it comes to riding in the car. For instance, when can the child turn from rear-facing to forward facing, move into a belt-positioning booster seat, wear only the seat belt without a booster seat?

The answer is easy. Do not be in a rush to move a child to the next stage because they are safest in the stage they’re in until they cannot be in it anymore. When the child outgrows their current seat or stage by height and weight, then you know it is time to move them to the next seat or stage.

To help parents and caregivers determine if their car seats are installed correctly, the Madison County Health Department, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, and New York State Police are teaming up to hold a child safety seat check. The free event will be held on Wednesday, June 21 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Big Lots located at 102 Utica Street in Hamilton. The rain date is June 28 at the same time.

A few quick reminders:

  • Children are required by New York State law to ride in an appropriate child safety seat in passenger vehicles until their eighth birthday.
  • It is recommended that a child ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they can properly fit in the seat belt, which is usually 4’9” tall and 100 pounds. So even after a child turns 8 years old, it is often appropriate and safest to keep them in a belt-positioning booster seat. Some children benefit from a booster seat until they are 12 years old, depending on their size.
  • Kids age 12 and under should ride in the back seat. The back seat is safer than the front seat. Also, airbags in the front seat are made for adults, so if an air bag deploys when a child or tween is riding in the front seat, they can be seriously injured or worse.
  • Use 13 as a rite of passage to ride in the front seat.
  • Do not use a child safety seat that you do not know the history of or a seat that is more than 6 years old.

If you are planning to attend the child safety seat check at Big Lots in Hamilton on June 21, please make sure that you have installed the car seat in your vehicle. That way, staff can check for errors and teach you how to make any corrections. While seats may be checked without the child present, bring the child with you if possible, so that staff can show you how the child should properly fit in the car seat. No appointment is necessary.

Call the Madison County Health Department at 315-366-2361 for more information. The event flyer is available in the calendar section of

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