CHILD BOOSTER SEATS: AGE, WEIGHT, AND HEIGHT GUIDELINES

When it comes to the safety of your young child, there are many things that you need to consider. This not only includes safety in the home or while they are at school but also when they are travelling in the car with you. As parents, you will find that you often have to drive with your young child whether it is to take them to the nursery, go on a play date, to visit relations, to go on vacation, or to get to the doctors among other things. When your child is traveling in the vehicle with you, it is important that they are safe, secure, and comfortable. In the event of an accident, you need to ensure that the risk of injury to your little one is minimized and this is where child car safety seats come into the equation.

Child-Booster-Seats

There are various different types of seat available to ensure child passenger safety, which includes rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, and belt-positioning booster seats. The first two options are for young babies that are under a certain weight and age. However, once your child goes beyond a specified weight and age you can switch to the child booster seat. These seats are designed to provide safety and comfort to your little one when traveling in the car, as they will be too small to use a regular seatbelt or shoulder belt to reduce the risk of injury in the event of an accident.

Making Sure You Are Familiar With The Regulations By State

The regulations with regards to child booster seats can vary from one state to another. As a result, you need to ensure that you are familiar with the regulations in your state. You can do this by going online to check what the requirements are for your specific state. Also, bear in mind that these regulations are often updated so if you last looked at them several years ago for another child it is worth checking again in case there are any changes. You will then have a better idea of what to look for when you are purchasing a child booster seat for your little one.

In many states, the laws, with regards to child booster seats, can appear quite vague but they have specific meanings. For example, in some states, the laws state that the child must be in a seat that is ‘appropriate,’ which means that it must be a seat that is used by a child of the size, weight, height, and age as per the label on the seat. This means that it is essential to ensure you read the labeling on these car seats so that you know whether it is a seat that will be suitable for your child and will, therefore, be in adherence to the legal requirements. Some states also have laws that say the seat must be properly installed. However, this can mean different things in different states. In some states, this means that the manufacturer’s instructions are used to verify that the seat has been properly installed in the vehicle.

The Regulations In Different States

Regulations regarding booster seats vary state by state. In Louisiana, for instance, children aged between four and six and who weigh between 40 and 60 pounds have to be in a booster car seat with a belt-positioning feature. In the event that a child is of an age, weight, and height to fall into two child seat categories, the safest option must be decided upon by the parents. In Alaska, however, you have to use a booster seat for children aged between four and eight who weigh up to 65 pounds and are up to 4’9” in height. So, let’s take a look at the booster seat regulations state by state:

  • Alabama: In Alabama, children must be in forward-facing seats until the age of five or when they reach 40 pounds. They must be in booster seats until the age of six.
  • Alaska: In this state, children must ride in a booster seat between the ages of four and eight other than if they weigh more than 65 pounds and are over 4’9” tall.
  • Arizona: Arizona requires children to be in a booster seat from the age of five until eight unless they are taller than 4’9”.
  • Arkansas: In this state, children up to the age of six years and under 60 pounds in weight should be riding in an appropriate child or booster seat.
  • Colorado: In this state, children aged between four and eight years of age should be riding in a suitable car or booster seat.
  • Delaware: In Delaware, children aged up to seven years and weighing up to 65 pounds need to be restrained in an appropriate child or booster seat designed for their age and size.
  • Georgia: Children must ride in an approved car seat until the age of eight. The booster or car seat should be suitable for the child’s age and height and must be fitted and used as per the instructions.
  • Hawaii: In this state, children aged between four and seven must right in a booster seat or car seat designed for their age. Tax credits are available to put toward the cost of buying a suitable seat.
  • Indiana: Indiana requires children less than the age of eight years to be in an approved car or booster seat. This must be properly installed and used as per the instructions and must be designed for the child’s age, height, and weight.
  • Iowa: Children less than the age of six years must be in an approved car or booster. Those under one year and weighing less than 20 pounds have to be in a rear-facing car seat.
  • Louisiana: In this state, children who are aged between four and six years and weigh between 40 and 60 pounds must be in a car booster seat.
  • Maine: In Maine, children aged eight or under and who weigh under 80 pounds must be in an approved car seat or booster.
  • Massachusetts: Under laws in this state, all children under the age of eight and who are less than 57 inches in height must be in an approved car or booster seat that is suitable for their size and weight.
  • Michigan: According to Michigan laws, all children aged between four and eight years need to be in a properly restrained booster or car seat.
  • Minnesota: Under laws in this state, all children aged seven and under who are under 4’9” need to be in an approved car seat or booster. Installation and use of the seat must be as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Mississippi: Under these laws, children aged under four must be in a car seat. From four to seven years of age, they must be in a seat that is suited to their age and weight.
  • Missouri: In this state, children who are aged between four and seven years, are between 40 and 80 pounds, and are less than 4’9” in height must be in a child/booster seat.
  • Nebraska: All children under the age of six must ride in an appropriate and approved car or booster seat in this state. The seat must be suited to their age and size.
  • Nevada:  In Nevada, all children aged less than six years and weighing up to 60 pounds must ride in a suitable and approved car or booster seat based on their age and size.
  • New Mexico: In this state, all children under the age of seven or weighing less than 60 pounds must be in an approved and suitable car or booster seat. Between seven and twelve years, they must be in a seat belt or booster seat designed for their weight and height.
  • New York: In New York, children aged up to eight years have to ride in a suitable car or booster seat. The state also recommends that they stay in a booster seat until they are 100 pounds in weight or 4’9” in height, although this is not mandatory.
  • North Carolina: In this state, all children who weigh less than 80 pounds or are under eight years of age need to be in a booster seat or appropriate car seat.
  • Ohio: Children under the age of four and under 40 pounds in weight need to be riding in a suitable car seat or booster seat in Ohio.
  • Oregon: In this state, all children must ride in a suitable and approved car seat or booster seat until they reach 40 pounds in weight.
  • Pennsylvania: All children under the age of four must ride in an approved car or booster seat that is suitable for their age and size.  
  • Rhode Island: In Rhode Island, all children aged under eight and who weigh less than 80 pounds have to be in a car or booster seat that is appropriate for their age.
  • South Dakota: In this state, all children aged under five and less than 40 pounds in weight will need to be in a suitable car seat or booster seat.
  • Tennessee: The regulations in this state require children aged between four and eight years to use a booster seat if they are not at least 4’9” in height.
  • Texas: In Texas, the law is that all children up to the age of eight must be in a suitable car or booster seat if they are less than 4’9” tall.
  • Washington:  In Washington, all children who are less than eight years of age must be in a suitable booster or car seat based on their age and size unless they are at least 4’9” tall.
  • West Virginia: All children in this state must ride in an approved booster or car seat until the age of eight years and up to 4’9” in height.

Checking The Regulations In our State

In order to ensure you adhere to the laws in the different states, you should make sure that you are familiar with car and booster seat regulations if you travel with children. Failure to do this can lead to both financial and other penalties. In addition, and more importantly, it could put the child’s safety at risk.

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There are various different types of seat available to ensure child passenger safety, which includes rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, and belt-positioning booster seats.

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