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Florida’s Child Safety Seat Laws

The safety of our children is one thing that we can all agree upon.

As of the date of this blog Florida law requires that children traveling inside motor vehicles must be restrained with the appropriate car seat or child safety device. These requirements very greatly depending on the child’s age and are based upon the safety guidelines established by the government together with industry experts. Below is a brief outline of Florida’s legal requirements.

Children under 4:

Children under the age of 4 must be restrained in a child safety seat located in the vehicle’s rear seat.

Infants should always be transported in a rear-facing seat. Safety experts recommend that you continue to use rear-facing safety seat as long as the child is within the height and weight limits of the safety seat. Once your child outgrows the rear facing seat, at least one-year-old and a minimum of 20 pounds, you should switch to afford facing child safety seat. However the safety seat should remain installed in the vehicle’s rear seat area.

Children ages 4 to 5:

Under Florida law children of this age may continue to use a child safety seat, at the parent’s discretion. The child may also use the vehicle’s safety belt but must remain in the rear seat area.

Safety experts recommend that children this age use a booster seat. The booster seat allows the car’s safety belt (which experts believe is stronger than those provided in the children’s safety seat) to fit properly across the child and reduces the significant risk of the child being injured in the event of an accident if the safety belt does not fit them properly.

Children ages 6 to 8:

Children of this age must still remain in the rear seat of the vehicle and must use the seat belt at all times. While Florida law does not require the use of a booster seat, safety experts recommend that you continue to use a booster seat for your child until he or she is at least 4’9″ tall.

Children ages 9 to 12:

Children of this age must remain in the rear seat of the vehicle and should use the vehicle’s safety belt at all times. Safety experts state that children of this age can safely use the adult seat belts contained in your vehicle.

Children 13 and Above:

Children this age may ride in the front or back seat of the vehicle. As with the adults, children in the front seat must always wear their seat belts.

Remember, if you have any questions or need help installing a child seat there are many places for you to go. Visit www.seatcheck.org for a location near you.

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