Children Under Four Years OldChildren under the age of four must be restrained in a child safety seat in the vehicle’s rear seat. This may be a separate carrier or a child safety seat built in to a vehicle by the manufacturer.
Infants should always use a rear-facing seat, as this is the safest possible method of transporting young children. Safety experts recommend continuing to use this seat as long as the child is within the height and weight limits of the seat.
When the child does outgrow the rear-facing seat (normally reaching at least one year of age and a minimum of 20 pounds of weight), you should switch to a forward-facing child safety seat. This seat should also be installed in the vehicle’s rear seat.
Children Ages Four and FiveBy law, children ages four and five may continue to use a child safety seat, at the parent’s discretion. Alternatively, the child may use the vehicle’s safety belt. The child must remain in the rear seat.
That said, safety experts recommend that children should continue to use the forward-facing seat until they exceed the weight or height limit of the seat. This is normally around age four and a weight of 40 pounds.
Safety experts also recommend that children use a booster seat at this age. Otherwise, the seat belt may not fit properly and the child is at significant risk of harm in the event of an accident.
Children Ages Six through EightChildren aged six though eight must remain in the rear seat of the vehicle and use a seat belt at all times.
Although the law does not require the use of a booster seat, safety experts recommend that you continue to use a booster seat for your child until the child is at least four feet, nine inches (4’9”) tall.