Car travel should be a safe and pleasant time for you and your child. It is a good time for you to talk to your child and teach your child how to behave in the car. Safety seats and seat belts are the only safe way for your child to travel, even for short trips.
For kids who are 2 to 4 years old, you will need a forward-facing safety seat placed in the rear seat of the car. Read the directions that come with the safety seat. Once your child is between 40 and 80 pounds and less than 4 foot 9 inches tall (usually between 4 and 8 years of age), you can use a booster seat in the rear seat of the car. A booster seat makes lap and shoulder belts fit correctly over the upper thighs and hips and over the shoulder. Seat belts can be used for children 9 to 12 years of age, but they should still ride in the rear seat of the car.
At any age, put your child’s safety seat in the back seat of the car. Never place your child in the front seat. Airbags in the front of the car can hurt or kill young children. Children over the age of 13 may sit in the front seat with a lap and shoulder belt.
It is against the law for a child to ride in the car without being securely buckled into a safety seat. It is against the law because it is very, very dangerous. Please do what is best for your child—use a safety seat during every car ride.