Car seat laws for children

Car seat laws help keep kids safe when riding in motor vehicles and it is important for people to make sure that they are using them correctly.

Placing children in appropriate and correctly installed car seats is pivotal to keeping them safe when they are riding in vehicles on Connecticut roads. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children under the age of 13 are especially vulnerable in car accidents, but being properly restrained significantly reduces the risk of fatal injuries in a crash. The statistics show that the number of unbuckled children who died in a car accident during 2014 was 34 percent. Motor vehicle accidents killed over 600 children in this age group that same year.

Connecticut car seat laws

Safe Kids Connecticut reports that parents who ignore or do not enforce car seat and seat belt laws in the state may be ticketed and fined. In order for children to ride safely in a car without a booster or car seat, the upper belt must not sit on their neck. Instead, the seat belt should lie flat across their upper thighs and collar bone. Children must also weigh at least 60 pounds and be no younger than seven years old.

Although the law requires that all children and teens wear a seat belt, it is further recommended that kids sit in the backseat where they are away from airbags and within a vehicle's tougher crash zones. Until toddlers reach the height and weight requirement for their specific seat, they must ride in a car seat. Infants should ride in a rear-facing car seat. Within the state, it is estimated that for every five car seats in vehicles, four are not being used correctly, putting children at serious risk of injury.

Correct car seat use and installation

Parents and caregivers have a responsibility to ensure that children are properly buckled into a car seat or booster that is appropriate for their age and size. All car seats are labeled with essential data, and important information is included in the car seat manual that comes with every car seat, as well.

The information included in the car seat manual explains exactly how long children can use the seat, how to install it properly and at what point the car seat needs to be replaced even if the child has not outgrown it. Using the right car seat and installing it properly can help keep kids safe in case of a car accident.

Hartford residents whose children have been injured or harmed in a car accident due to a faulty car seat may have legal options available to them. In order to learn more, they should consider speaking with a local attorney.