What Are The Laws On Infant Car Seats


As new mothers have to go to work they either have an option to hire a full time nanny that keeps an eye on their child when they aren’t around and keep it safe and sound. Or get a car seat through which they can take their child with them to work. While going with the former isn’t illegal and no formal laws have to be followed, although expensive, the later does require you to check in your local government’s rules and regulations.

If you are caught not abiding by those laws then you will be charged as any of your irresponsible action can result into the serious consequences for you or your child. To find out about the laws according to your region read on.

Infant Car Seat Laws in USA

Infant traveling laws are varied according to different states of the USA. Each state has its own rules regarding when it is compulsory for a child to travel in rear facing car seat, when front facing car seat, when to start using the booster seats and when to start using the adult seat belts. The child safety laws not only vary from state to state but also from each and every child’s age, weight and height.

Like in Alabama a child less than 1 year or 20 pounds is supposed to be traveling in rear facing car seat till he or she reaches up to 1-4 years of age. By that time the child can be seated on a front facing car seat and by 4-6 years the young one will require booster seats. Above 6 years and older the child is allowed to travel with the adult seat belts on.

These rules are different in the state of California where a child less than 8 years or 57 inches in height is supposed to travel in a rear facing car seat and after then only will he be allowed to travel in an adult seat belt. Same goes for the state of Georgia as well.

In Hawaii a child less than 4 years is advised to be carried in a safety seat and by seven in booster seats. If the child weighs more than 40 pounds or is taller than 4’9” then he can be latched on safely by a lap/shoulder belt. Hence every state has different safety laws and if you want to travel with your child then you will have to abide by those laws failure to do so you will be fined.

Child Travel Safety Laws In UK

Child travel rules are rather stricter in the UK than USA. Here any child traveling without a car seat is deemed illegal and if you are caught doing so you will be heavily charged. The usual laws here are universally applied all over the United Kingdom rather than divided up on the states.

The children who are less than three years old have to travel in a car seat, most suitably the rear facing car seat in the back seat. Rear facing car seats are specifically advice for children that are 13 kg or less, for children who are up to 9 to 18 kg you can either use a front or rear facing car seat. For children who weigh 15 kg to 25 kg you can either use a front facing car seat or a booster cushion, the latter is applied for children who weigh more than 22 kg. If you place the car seat in the front seat then you will have to make sure that the air bags are deactivated.

Booster seat should be used for children from 3 to 12 years, or shorter than 135 cm. While traveling in taxi and mini buses you need to carry your own car seat, and if you have three children below the age of 12 and you cannot install more than two car seats in your car than the oldest and the tallest should travel with an adult seat belt.

Infant Car Seat Rules in Canada

In Canada all infants from the time they are discharged from the hospitals have to travel in a rear facing car seat. Many hospitals keep this in check whether the car has a properly installed car seat or not before letting the child leave the hospital premises.

If you child out grows the car seat then you can buy the forward facing car seats. In these events the convertible car seats come in handy. It is not advised by any child to travel in the front seat of the car until the age of 12.

Car Seat Laws In Australia

In Australia you child from birth to 16 years is not allowed to travel without any car seat. From birth to 6 months your child must be seated on a rear facing car seat. After 6 months to 4 years the child is then allowed to travel in a front facing car seat after which till 7 years you can use a booster seat for your child. From 7 to 16 years your child must either use a booster seat or a seat belt that is fastened properly and tightly.

Further Reading on Best Infant Car Seats