- All Children up to 4 years AND 40 pounds must be in a child restraint system.
- All Infants must be rear facing until they are one year old AND weigh 20pounds.
Child safety experts encourage parents to use booster seats for children over 4 years up to 8 years AND 80 pounds.
A Child may safely use a seat belt when they've grown to fit the belt properly. The belt should lie across the chest, NOT the neck or throat. The lap belt must be low and snug across the thighs, NOT the stomach. Also, the child should be tall enough to sit against the vehicle seat back with their legs bent at the knees and feet hanging down. SEAT BELTS ARE MADE FOR ADULTS. If the belt does not properly fit your child, use a booster seat. Normally, the seat belt fits when a child reaches a height of 4'9", 57", and is between the ages of 8-12 years. Experts also recommend all children ride in the back seat until reaching the age of 12 years.
Types of Seats:
Is Your Child Buckled Correctly?
- Be sure to use the correct harness slots.
- Keep the harness snug.
- Place the plastic harness clip, if provided, at armpit level to hold theshoulder straps in place.
- Make sure the straps are flat and not twisted.
- Dress your baby in clothes allowing the straps to go between their legs.
- In cold weather, tuck blankets around your baby after adjusting the harness straps snugly. Never place blankets under the baby.
- Make sure your car seat is facing the correct direction.
- Make sure the belt is routed through the correct belt path.
- The car seat should not move more than an inch from side to side. This ischecked by tugging at the base of the seat, NOT at the top.
- If you are able to move the car seat more than one inch, try another seatbelt or CONTACT A CHILD PASSENGER SAFETY TECHNICIAN FOR ASSISTANCE.
- If your infant's head flops forward, the car seat may not be reclinedenough. Recline as close to 45 degrees as possible.
- READ THE OWNER'S MANUAL FOR THE VEHICLE REGARDING CHILD SAFETY. EVERY VEHICLE IS DIFFERENT AND EVERY MANUAL GIVES SPECIFIC DIRECTIONS FOR DOS AND DON'TS.
- READ THE CAR SEAT MANUFACTURER'S DIRECTIONS.
DO NOT Use a Child Safety Seat ...
- If the seat is too old - Look on the label for the date it was made. If it is more than 10 years old it should not be used. Manufacturers recommendsafety seats be used for 5-6 years.
- If it has been in a crash - The seat may be weakened. Even if it looks fine. Do not use if you do not know the full history of the seat.
- If it does not have a label with the date of manufacture, seat name, or model number - This information is needed to check recalls.
- If it does not come with instructions.