The car seat laws in Pennsylvania have recently been updated and here’s what’s new:
- Infants under the age of two must be placed in a rear-facing restraint in the car’s back seat.
- After your child turns two, you can transition him/her to a forward-facing restraint provided s/he exceeds the rear-facing seat manufacturer’s height and weight recommendations.
- Children between the ages of four and seven can move on to a booster seat only when they are over the forward-facing seat manufacturer’s height and weight limits.
- Finally, children between eight and 12 can wear the car’s backseat safety belt once they are at least 4’9”.
Drivers can be charged up to $75 if they fail to abide by the laws listed above.
Ensuring a car seat is properly installed can be the difference between life and death in an accident, so check out this link for fitting stations near you to have an expert help with installation:
In addition, if you need a car seat but can’t afford one, PennDOT has a program to help. Check out this link for more information about the car seat loan program:
A few other notes about car seat safety. When you are using the harness on a car seat make sure the harness is pulled up over the chest and not down low towards the stomach. The harness is meant to hold the child against the seat in case of an accident and if the harness is too low there is a chance the child could be expelled from the seat or suffer internal injury from the harness pushing against the child’s stomach instead of chest.
Never unbuckle the car seat and allow the baby to nap in it, there have been multiple babies die from this. The angle of the car seat without the buckles can lead the baby’s airway to close, suffocating the little one.
Never use bulky blankets or jackets and then buckle the baby in their car seat. This extra padding gives too much room between the harness and the baby and in the event of an accident the baby could be thrown from the seat.
Here is a visual safety reminder from a car seat safety blog: