Kansas car seat laws are essential because just as it is important to get a car seat, it is of great essence to get the right car seat. Kansas car seat law 2003 has provisions to address the issue explicitly. The Kansas car seat law is to ensure the safety of every child passenger in a moving car, from the use of infant car seats to the use of booster seats and graduate seat belts at the appropriate age, weight, and height.

It is exciting to go out with your lovely kids in the car, I know, and we all enjoy it as parents. However, certain measures have to be taken to safeguard the kids from serious injury and probable death on the streets and highways of Kansas. Moreso, as you have fun with your kids, you don’t end up paying a fine, which is certainly unplanned and can be frustrating.

The laws have helped reduce the rate of death of children during accidents in Kansas. Below, the Kansas car seat laws are explained in detail.

Age and weight requirements for car seats in Kansas- Kansas car seat laws of 2023.

According to Kansas car seat laws, the car seat to be used depends largely on the child’s age and weight.  Infants who weigh up to 20 pounds must be in a rear-facing, infant-only seat or convertible car seat. 

For toddlers, the weight limit is 20-40 pounds, and they must be in a rear-facing or front-facing convertible car seat or a 3-in-1. Children 4-8 years old must weigh 40-100 lbs. and be in a front-facing booster car seat. All car seats must be secured through a harness strap for infants or toddlers, and a seat belt for children 4 years or older. Below are the three types of car seats approved by Kansas car seat laws.

Every civilized society has laws that guide every action of a person resident, passing through, or on a tourist visit. It is essential to get familiar with the Kansas car seat laws, especially, if you have children below the age of fourteen. No one will want to pay a fine for violating the Kansas car seat law when out for fun with their kids.

Infant Car Seat- Rear-facing car seat Law

In Kansas, all children under the age of four must be securely buckled into a federally approved child safety seat or in a vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child safety seat, no matter where they’re seated in the vehicle. An infant is a baby that is less than 12 months old. They are to be placed in a rear-facing car seat. If the seat is an infant-only car seat, ensure to only use it in the rear-facing position.

The infant car seats which, are specially designed for newborns and small babies, are portable and convertible types of seats. The seat is designed to be used in a rear-facing position. If your baby outgrows the seat before the age of 12 months of age, you can switch to a convertible seat or a 3-in-1 and continue to use it in the rear-facing position.

Age Infant (birth to one year old)

Weight Up to 20 pounds (varies by seat manufacturer)

Car Seat Type Infant-only seat or Convertible in a rear-facing position

Seat Direction Rear-facing only

Harness Straps Should be at or below shoulder level 

Kansas car seat laws allows children between the ages of one and three to sit in a forward-facing car seat the moment they outgrow their rear-facing infant seat. The car seat is recommended to be fastened in the back seat because it is safer.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a rear-facing car seat is the best type of seat for young children to use. This type of car seat includes a harness, which keeps the child tightly secured and cradled in the seat during a crash.

A harness moves with the child on impact and reduces the chances of injury to the neck and spinal cord. 

At the minimum, your child must be in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least one year old and at least 20 pounds (or the seat’s upper limits). However, it’s recommended that your child stays in the rear-facing position until they reach 35 pounds, or whatever the car seat’s weight limit is. 

Convertible Car seat- rear-facing and forward-facing car seat law

Convertible car seats or 3-in-1 car seats are best for children as they grow older. They usually have higher weight limits for rear-facing placement, which allows you to keep your child in a rear-facing seat for longer than an infant-only car seat.

Convertible seats can convert from rear-facing to forward-facing using a harness and tether. The 3-in-1 (or all-in-one) type can convert from rear-facing to forward-facing to a booster seat. 

Age Over 1 year old (toddler – preschool age)

Weight 20-40 pounds

Car Seat Type Convertible or 3-in-1

Seat Direction Rear-facing or front-facing (depends on seat limits)

Harness Straps Should be at or above shoulder level 

All-in-one car seat Law in Kansas

New parents tend to go for the infant car seat, especially if they are not familiar with the all-in-one car seat. The uniqueness of an all-in-one car seat is that it grows with the child. A child of as little as 5 pounds to a child of 120 pounds can use the seat. It can be used as an infant seat, booster seat, rear-facing, and forward-facing seat. It can also be referred to as a 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 car seat.

An All-in-one car seat is convenient and environmentally friendly, and your child grows with it.

Booster Car Seat Laws in Kansas

In Kansas, children aged four to eight, those under 80 pounds, or those who are under 4’9” tall, must be restrained using a booster seat with a lap and shoulder belt when available. 

The safest option is to keep your child in their forward-facing car seat as long as possible. Once your child reaches the seat’s upper height and/or weight limit, it’s time to switch to a booster seat. 

The booster seat should still be placed in the vehicle’s back seat for the safest conditions. 

All children who are ages 4, 5, 6, or 7 must ride in a booster seat unless one of the following conditions are met: 

  • The child is 4 feet 9 inches tall or taller
  • The child weighs 80 or more pounds
  • The vehicle only has a lap belt available

In any of those cases, the child must be restrained by the vehicle’s seat belt system if the booster isn’t used. 

Age 4-8 years

Weight 40-100 lbs. (check booster seat’s specifications)

Car Seat Type Belt-positioning booster seat

Seat Direction Front-facing

Seat Belt Must be used with both the lap belt and shoulder belt when available.

Once the child reaches age 8, they may ride using a seat belt only. However, it’s recommended that the child be at least 4’9” tall and weigh 80 pounds before switching to a standard seat belt. And you must ensure that the child is big enough for the seat belt to fit properly before ditching the booster seat. 

For a seat belt to fit properly and safely restrain your child, the lap belt must fit snugly over the top of the thighs, not across the child’s stomach. In addition, the shoulder belt should fit snugly over the shoulder and chest, not across the child’s neck or face. 

If the seat belt doesn’t fit across the child’s body properly and in the proper positioning, then they need to stay in their booster seat a little longer.

It’s also a good idea to consider your child’s maturity and whether they can sit properly without playing with or disengaging the seat belt.

When Can a Child Sit in the Front Seat in Kansas?

According to the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office, all children under the age of 12 should sit in the back seat. The back seat is the safest place for a child. 

While there aren’t any rules codified as law in Kansas about when children can sit in the front seat, there is still general guidance we can follow.

However, if a child must ride in the front seat, you should slide the seat back as far as possible to avoid airbag impact. This is especially important for children riding in a front-facing car seat. Children in a rear-facing car seat should never ride in a front seat. 

Kansas Laws On Leaving A Child Unattended In A Car

In Kansas, it’s illegal to leave a child unattended in a vehicle for an extended period.

According to Senate Bill No. 77, drivers may not leave children who are ages 5 or under unattended and unsupervised in a vehicle for more than five minutes unless the vehicle is being loaded or unloaded.

If any law enforcement officer observes a child unattended and unsupervised in a vehicle is authorized to remove the child from the vehicle using any means necessary. Drivers who violate the law can be cited and fined.

It’s important to note that this law is enforceable on both public and private property. So, even if your car is parked in your driveway, you still cannot leave children unattended to play in the vehicle. 

Why Should You Obey Car Seat Laws in Kansas?

Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in children, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), at least 59% of car seats are installed incorrectly. Each state has its specific regulations when it comes to car seat requirements, and Kansas is no exception.

Kansas child car seat safety laws are designed to protect your children from preventable injuries and death. Injuries for children requiring treatment at a hospital in Kansas in 2017 were 190 children every hour. You can find more information about Kansas car seat laws on the highway patrol website.

Penalties and fines for non -compliance with the Kansas car seat laws

 

There are fines for non-compliance with Kansas car seat laws. The fine is $60. Where the proper car seat is not used, or there is the absence of a car seat where necessary, the fine will be paid by the offender. Remember, no one likes to be the cause of their children’s serious injury or death as a result of negligence, and strict compliance is the best choice.

Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in children, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), at least 59% of car seats are installed incorrectly. Each state has its specific regulations when it comes to car seat requirements, and Kansas is no exception.

More resources for creating awareness and educating parents and caregivers on car seats

Check out this page on Child Passenger Safety from the Kansas Highway Patrol to learn more about Kansas’ 4-Steps for Kids policy on child seats and vehicle restraints. 

Remember, you should select a car seat based on your child’s age, size, and weight while also ensuring that you choose a seat that properly fits in your vehicle. Use a car seat every time you travel with your child. 

To help you select the right type of car seat, use this simple graphic from the NHTSA.

Auto insurance and car seat laws in Kansas

According to kansas law, all drivers are expected to insure their vehicles, the policy can be increased to cover coverage of car seats where the insurance

company does not cover a car seat.

It is worthy of note that violation of Kansas car seat law can impact your car insurance policy negatively, it does not only give a signal of you being a high-risk driver to the insurance carrier, but it can also increase your citation, which means additional insurance premiums.

Expert advice that car seats be replaced after a car crash, or it can be taken to the Child Restraint Inspection Stations for a  Child Passenger Safety Technicians to check the car seat. 

Car Seat Installation Tips To Ensure Safety 

It’s always a good idea to read the car seat’s instruction booklet and check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for car seat information before you begin installing your car seat. Your vehicle may be equipped with anchors, or you may need to use the seat belt system to secure the car seat. 

  • Place the car seat in your vehicle’s back seat and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure the seat is secured tightly and that it doesn’t move or slide more than one inch in any direction. 
  • If the car seat is front-facing with a tether strap, ensure that you connect the tether anchor and tighten the strap. This feature helps prevent whiplash or injury to the neck, head, or spinal cord during a collision. 
  • If the car seat is rear-facing, ensure that you install it at the appropriate recline angle. Most seats have built-in adjusters or angle indicators that will show you what angle the seat is set to. 
  • If you’re uncertain about installing your car seat or have any questions, reach out to your local fire department or a police station. They usually offer free assistance and inspections to ensure your car seat is properly installed. Many hospitals will perform this check before you leave with your baby as well. 

Final Thoughts

This Article has given details on Kansas Car Seat Laws 2023, and the law addressed the age and weight of child passengers in Kansas.  Some of the points addressed are:

The Child Passenger Safety Act (KSA 8-1343) is a law that requires all children under the age of four to be secured in a federally approved child safety seat. Measures should be taken by parents and guardians to abide by the law to avoid probable fines and serious injury or death of a child during an accident.

The laws have provided a complete guide, as given in this article, to provide the appropriate and best car seat for a child based on age, weight, and height. Always go for best car seat brands when making a choice of a car seat.

Author

Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren

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Keren Simanova

Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren