Basic Guidelines for Child Safety Seat Usage

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants remain rear-facing until the upper weight limit of a convertible seat (usually 30-35 pounds) as long as they are within the height requirements of the seat.  At a minimum, Infants should remain rear-facing in the back seat until at least 1 yr. old AND at least 20 lbs.

  • Children may ride forward facing once they are over 20 lbs. and 1 year of age in a seat with an internal 5-point harness.  They should ride in a seat with an internal harness until they reach the weight limit of the harness (usually 40-65 pounds) as long as they are still within the height limit of the seat.
  • Once the child weighs at least 40 lbs., the child should ride in a booster seat in the back seat until they are at least 4'9" tall.  Booster seats MUST be used with a lap and shoulder belt.  NEVER a lap only belt.
  • Before being allowed to use only the vehicle lap & shoulder seat belt, the child should be able to sit up with knees bent at the edge of the vehicle seat, the seat belt shoulder strap should fit comfortably across the chest (not across the neck), and the seat belt lap strap should fit low and tight across the upper thighs.