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Child Passenger Safety
Adults are responsible for keeping children safe when they are passengers in a vehicle. This includes making sure they are buckled in correctly and always wear a seatbelt when old enough to buckle themselves in.
Seat Belt Law in Pennsylvania
Children younger than four must ride in an approved child safety seat at all times. For children younger than two, this must be a rear-facing car seat until the height and weight limits set by the manufacturer are outgrown. From ages four to eight, children must ride in a booster seat that fits them correctly. Children older than eight must always wear a seatbelt. Children younger than 12 should always ride in the back seat.
Using a Car Seat Correctly
Choose the right car seat for your child’s age, height, and weight and use it every time he or she rides in your vehicle. Read the instructions included with the car seat as well as your vehicle’s manual to ensure that it’s installed properly. Depending on the car, this may be with a seat belt or with the LATCH system. Keep your child in a safety seat for as long as possible given he or she meets the height and weight limits of the seat.
Seats for Children Younger Than 2
Choose either an infant-only seat that can only be used rear-facing, or a 3-in-1 seat that can be rear-facing up to a specific height and weight limit and forward-facing once that limit has been reached. The best way to keep your child safe is to use a rear-facing seat until he or she reaches the weight limit.
Seats for Older Children
Your child should ride in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she exceeds the weight and height limit for the seat. At that point, it’s safe to use an approved booster seat, which should be used until the child can fit in a seat belt properly. This means that the lap belt fits tightly across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt tightly across the shoulder and chest.
Child Safety Seat Fitting Stations
If you live in Pennsylvania, visit one of more than 75 car seat fitting stations staffed by PennDOT-trained technicians. You can find a location near you on the PA Safe Kids website.
These child passenger safety tips can help keep your child safe in the event of a car accident. Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyers can get you in contact with a qualified car accident attorney in your area that can help you seek compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation.