For many, summer is a season of traveling. Whether it’s a few minutes down the road or hundreds of miles across the country, it’s important to remember the safety rules for children in car seats.
Did you know that the Washington State Legislature approved updated regulations on car-seat and booster seat use? The revised law relates to newborn children up to kids that are 12 years of age.
According to the revised law and the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, there are four main sections to this new law going into effect statewide in 2020:
- Children under age 2 must use rear-facing seats. Children should remain in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their seat.
- Children ages 2 to at least 4 years should use age-appropriate child harness seats. Once they are facing forward, children should use a forward-facing car safety seat with a harness for as long as possible, until they reach the height and weight limits for their seats. Many seats can accommodate children up to 65 pounds or more.
- Children older than 4 but shorter than 4’9” who have outgrown the child harness seat must use booster seats. Practically speaking, most kids will need a booster seat until 10-12 years of age.
- When children are old enough and large enough to use the vehicle seat belt alone, they should always use lap and shoulder seat belts for optimal protection.
Drivers can be ticketed if a passenger under age 16 is not using the correct car seat, booster seat, or seat belt based on their age, height, or weight.
So whether you are just driving to the nearby store, or taking a family trip down the coast, please remember to abide by the car and traffic laws.
You can read more information about the updated regulations on car-seat and booster seat use here.
Let’s have a fun and safe summer!