Do you know the child restraint laws in your state?

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I recently had a conversation with a group of mothers about the child restraint laws in my state. It turns out that only a few of us knew the laws and there was much confusion about who should be in a car seat, booster seat or just belted in the back seat.

I found this website that lists the laws regarding child restraint in all 50 states. What is immediately obvious is that the laws vary tremendously depending upon where you live. My sister's five year old can legally ride in the back seat with just a regular seat belt because she lives in Texas. When they visit me in Idaho this summer, her daughter will need to be in a car seat.

Washington state recently passed very strict laws regarding safety restraints. Children under the age of eight (unless they are over 4'9" tall) must ride in a federally approved child restraint. Not only that, through the state's
Better Safe Than Sorry Program, other drivers may report you if they see you driving without your child properly restrained. You won't get a ticket, but you will get a reminder letter from the Washington State Patrol.

I am often surprised by parents who say they can't wait for their child to become old enough to get out of the car seat. According to Idaho law, Ellie will be able to lose the booster seat on her 7th birthday, but I see no reason to rush her into a regular seat belt. She is going to ride in the booster seat until she no longer fits in it safely. What about you? Are you clear on the laws regarding child restraints in your state? Are you anxious to move your child from a child safety seat to a regular seat belt?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.