Children are the most important cargo transported in a vehicle. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. That’s why it’s so important to choose and use the right car seat and make sure seatbelts are properly used every time your child is in the car. Unlike adults, young children rely exclusively on others to make sure they are safely secured when sitting in a passenger seat in a vehicle. It is our job to make sure a child is buckled up or if they require a car seat to make sure it is the proper one and they are safely secured.
Under Pennsylvania law, children under the age of 4 must be properly restrained in an approved child safety seat anywhere in the vehicle. Children under 2 must be secured in a rear-facing car seat until the child outgrows the maximum weight and height limits designated by the car seat manufacturer. Children from age 4 up to age 8 must be restrained in an appropriate booster seat. Children from age 8 up to age 18 must be in a seat belt.
PennDot’s Car Seat Recommendations
- Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size, and choose a seat that fits in your vehicle and use it every time.
- Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions; read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system; and check height and weight limits.
- To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
- Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.