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Traveler Information

Which car seat is right for your child?

It is critically important to keep our children safe in vehicles as they travel our state’s roadways. That means putting them in the proper restraint for their age, size and weight.

"Securing your child in a correctly installed child safety seat is one of the most important things you can do to protect your child's life every day," according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Since parents are often confused about the difference between child restraint laws (which differ in many states) and the recommendations of national experts regarding child safety seats, safety advocates want to ensure that parents and caregivers are aware of the National Car Seats for Children: Birth to 12 Years Guidelines: For a downloadable flyer, click here.

Children under the age of 1 should always ride on a REAR-FACING car seat.

There are different types of rear-facing car seats: Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in 1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.

Keep your 1 to 3 year old children in a REAR-FACING car seat for as long as possible. It's the best way to keep them safe. They should remain in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat's manufacturer.

Once outgrown the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a FORWARD-FACING car seat with a harness.

Keep your 4 to 7 year old children in their FORWARD-FACING car seat with a harness until they reach the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat's manufacturer.

Once they outgrow their forward-facing car seat with a harness, it's time to travel on a BOOSTER SEAT ... but still in the rear seat.

Keep your 8 to 12 year old children on their BOOSTER SEAT until they are big enough to fit in a seat belt properly.

Seat Belts

For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face.

Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because they are safer there.

Follow your car seat manufacturer's instructions and your vehicle owner's manual on how to install and properly use the car seat.


What are the child restraint requirements in Florida?

Every operator of a motor vehicle driven on Florida roads must provide for the protection of any child, 5 years of age or younger, by using a crash-tested, federally approved car seat.

For children up to 3 years old, the restraint must be a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer's integrated child seat. For children aged 4 through 5 years, a separate carrier, an integrated child seat, or a seat belt may be used. For passengers age 6 through 17 years, a seat belt must be used while riding in a motor vehicle.

You may find more information regarding child restraint requirements by visiting The Florida Senate website.

There is some additional information available on our Florida Highway Patrol website.



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