How To Know Federal and State Car Seat Laws

Different states have different car seat laws. Not only do they differ from state to state but they change constantly. But state laws derive their laws from federal laws, so it is safe to always follow federal laws in any state.

  • Federally mandated laws on car seats require that infants will use infant car seats until one year old or until they weigh 20 pounds; these are in the case of rear facing car seats.
  • Graduating from rear facing car seats, forward facing car seats are required for children until they are four years old and weigh 40 pounds.
  • Booster seats are required for children until they are eight years old and weigh 80 pounds.

These are federally mandated laws that make it safe for your children to travel in any state. Car seat laws are only guidelines that remind citizens about the risk they will take if these laws are not followed. State laws change every now and then, and every state has its own laws with regard to car seats. What is important is the recognition that there is such a law.

There are strollers that are compatible with infant car seats. They may be good for a baby travel system, but parents should check if state law allows them. A baby travel system comprises a car seat and a stroller in one package. This will offer safety and mobility to the mother and the new baby. But no matter how elite these strollers are, if the law does not allow them, there is no reason why parents should buy one for their baby.

Convertible car seats are also available when your child grows too big for an infant car seat but not big enough for a booster car seat. For budget purposes, this convertible car seat eliminates the need to buy a separate infant car seat. Installing a convertible car seat should take into consideration the age of the baby who will occupy the car seat. Federal laws require that a child should be kept rear-facing at least until he is one year old. Also consider the fit. The convertible car seat should fit in your vehicle. A convertible car seat is not ideal for use by an infant. It may be used as the baby’s second car seat when he outgrows his infant car seat

The U.S. and Canadian Governments have written car seat laws and regulations. When traveling, the traveler must adhere to the laws of the road instead of following the laws of the state they have originated in or the state where they are traveling to. Car seat laws vary from state to state, but all of them originated from federal laws. When in doubt about these laws, follow the most stringent state regulations. If they are not enough, consider the rules of your own state. But bear in mind that seat belts in automobiles are designed for average-sized persons and not for a small child.


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