Effective now - changes to car seat laws

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Washington has long had car seat laws for children. The details have been updated in the last legislative session and are taking effect now, January 1, 2020.

Here are the main points of the new law:

  1. Children up to age 2 must ride in a rear-facing car seat.
  2. Children ages 2-4 years must ride in a car seat with a harness (whether the seat is rear or forward-facing).
  3. Children 4 years and older must ride in a car or booster seat until they are 4'9" tall.
  4. Children up to age 13 must ride in the back seat when practical.
For the best protection, a child should remain in each stage of restraint until they reach the maximum height and weight based on the manufacturer’s instructions.

Regarding #3 - note that booster seats are more comfortable than some back seats and the booster seat keeps the seat belt pressure off the body of the young person.

Properly installing a car seat can be a challenge. Most fire departments have personnel who will help you but you will need to schedule an appointment.

Visit WaCarSeats.com for more information


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