Car Seat Safety
Updated: Jun 18, 2020
Infants: 1 - 20 lbs
Ohio law requires that young children be properly restrained in a car seat. Riding rear facing is safest for infants and toddlers. It is recommended that children ride in a rear facing seat until they reach the car seats height and weight limits, or until they are 2 years old. Take the next step to a forward facing car seat when your child exceeds the rear facing seat height and weight limits, or if the top of your child's head is within one inch of the car seat top.
Ohio law requires that children less than 4 years old AND 40 pounds be properly secured in a car seat. Use a forward facing car seat with an internal harness until the child reaches the upper height and weight limit for their car seat. Take the next step to a booster seat if: your child exceeds the seat height and weight limits, and/or your child's shoulders are above the car seat top harness, and/or the top of your child's ears are above the car seat.
Ohio law requires that children ride in a booster seat until they are at least 4'9" tall OR 8 years old. Use a booster seat, placed in the back seat, with the vehicle lap and shoulder safety belts until your child passes the Safety Belt Fit Test (see below). Your child may be ready for a seat belt if: they exceed the booster seat height and weight limit, and pass the fit test.
SAFETY BELT FIT TEST
Your child's knees should bend at the edge of the seat when their back and bottom are both against the vehicle seat back, AND the belt lap fits across their upper thighs, AND the shoulder belt fits across their shoulders and chest. Children are usually between 8-12 when the seat belt fits them properly. Children over 4'9" tall, no matter what age, can use a seat belt.
Ohio law requires children aged 8-15 years to be secured by the vehicle seat belt. Once your child has passed the fit test, require them to use safety belts in every vehicle, on every trip, whether or not you are there. A lap and shoulder belt providers the best protection for your child, and helps them maintain the correct seating position.