Car seat safety
Sadly, improper installation or use of a car seat is the number 1 cause of death in children. Keep reading to learn the requirements for car seat safety.
Children under age 4 must be properly secured in a child restraint system in the rear-seat, if possible. They must then ride in a booster seat until they turn 8, weigh more than 80 lbs., or are taller than 4 feet 9 inches. Violation of the child restraint law is a standard offense.
Once your child exceeds the height and weight limit of his infant car seat, purchase a convertible car seat with a higher height or weight limit (most go to 35 pounds rear-facing) and continue to use it rear-facing until age two, or until your child hits the height or weight limit for rear-facing use.
Here’s a quick guide from the CDC on how to choose a seat based on your child’s age, weight, and height:
- Birth to 2. Use a rear-facing seat. …
- Age 2 to 4 AND no more than 40 pounds. Use a forward-facing child safety seat.
- Age 4 to 8 OR up to 4 feet 9 inches tall. …
- After age 8 AND/OR 4 feet 9 inches tall.
Children should stay in a booster seat until adult seat belts fit correctly, typically when children reach about 4 feet 9 inches in height and are 8 through 12 years of age. Most children will not fit in a seat belt alone until 10 to 11 years of age.
A convertible seat is the safer option. Make the switch now. To take advantage of a convertible seat’s added potential for head protection, we advise that if your child has not already outgrown her infant seat (many will), transition your child to a rear-facing convertible seat no later than age 1.
Children under age 8 and under 57” must be properly secured in a child restraint system. All other children age 8 to 16 or over 57″ must be secured in a properly fitted seat belt. Children under age 2, and under 40 lbs. or under 40”, must be properly secured in a rear-facing child restraint system.
Children under age 8 must be restrained in a child passenger restraint system in the rear seat.
California law specifically requires children to be properly restrained, meaning the lap belt is low on the hips, touching the upper thighs, and the shoulder belt is crossing the center of the chest.
Children in rear-facing car seats may not ride in front if there is an active passenger air bag.
Violation of the child passenger safety law is a standard offense.