Vehicle collisions are the main cause of injury and death to children. In Pennsylvania alone, in any given year, about 7,000 children under the age of 5 are involved in collisions. This is why it is so important that the laws regarding child seat safety be understood, and obeyed.
Summary of Pennsylvania’s child seat safety laws
The child seat safety laws in Pennsylvania can be summarized as follows:
Children under a year old and weighing less than 20 pounds must be restrained in a rear-facing child seat.
Any child under four must be restrained in a child passenger restraint system that is federally approved, and secured using either the seat belt system or the LATCH system that is in newer vehicles, regardless of whether they are riding in the front seat or the back seat.
Any child four and over, but younger than eight, must ride in a booster seat that is federally approved, and secured using the seat belt system, regardless of whether they are riding in the front seat or the back seat.
Children over the age of 8 but under 18 must use a seat belt, regardless of whether they are riding in the front seat or the back seat.
It is the driver’s responsibility to make sure that children are secured in age-appropriate restraint systems in any vehicle he or she operates.
Although not specified in Pennsylvania’s child seat safety laws, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends having children ride in rear-facing child safety seats for as long as possible.
If you fail to obey the child seat safety laws in the State of Pennsylvania, you can be fined $75.
Child seat safety laws are in place to keep your children safe, so know them and obey them.