New Hampshire Car Seat Laws: Updated

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New Hampshire Car Seat Laws

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According to the New Hampshire Car Seat Law, children under the age of 7 or 57 inches (whichever comes first) must utilize a child safety seat that is securely buckled and secured. In vehicles like cars, pickup trucks, or SUVs, children under the age of 18 must be securely restrained.

In a report, it is mentioned that since 2020, the number of fatalities on New Hampshire highways has continued to rise. In 2022, 98 individuals were killed in collisions on New Hampshire roads between January 1 and September 11.

This article will give you a preview and the specifics of New Hampshire’s Car Seat Law. It contains the necessary information and other guidelines regarding the law, which will surely be helpful to any parents out there obeying the law and protecting all at the same time. 

Overview of the New Hampshire Car Seat Laws

Car Seat Laws in New Hampshire are in place to keep children safe when riding in a car. These laws protect children from birth to the age of 17 against any harmful and major injuries during car accidents.

Children under the age of six must ride in a child safety seat in New Hampshire. Children age 7 to 17 are allowed to travel without an authorized car seat, but they must wear seat belt. There are no mandatory seating arrangements. 

New Hampshire has many rules that vary depending on the child’s age and weight. Parents must obey all applicable regulations when it comes to their children and keep them confined in the vehicle.

Let’s take a closer look at each safety seat’s individual standards.

Rear-facing seats

New Hampshire Car Seat Law does not specify any preferences for rear-facing car seats. However, because most infant carriers are designed to face the back, parents should do this. Infant and infant carriers are intended to be used with the kid facing backward. This protects their heads and necks from unexpected pauses and hits. 

To do this, mount the base and car seat so that they do not face forward. Since the legislation does not specify the steps to take, employ conventional safety measures. The majority of infant carriers are designed for youngsters under the age of one year and weighing less than 20 pounds. Use this to determine how long the infant should be in a rear-facing car seat.

Required Car Seats for Children under 6 years old

Children under the age of six must be securely secured in a car seat, according to the New Hampshire Car Seat law. Even if your child is less than 57 inches, they should be in the proper child safety seat. 

The appropriate car seat will be determined by the child’s age and weight. With the proper car seat, you can keep your child rear-facing. Instead, you might choose another car seat that allows your child to face forward

For the first year, infant and baby carriers advised that the kid be rear-facing. Several carriers can carry bigger loads of up to 35 pounds. This allows you to keep your child rear-facing and safe for a longer period of time.

There are also car seats made for older children. You can pick one based on your child’s height and weight. Some will be rear-facing, while others will be forward-facing and may be used for both as your kid grows. 

You may select a car seat that fits your child and allows them to face forward as they develop. To be safe, adhere to the weight and height limitations and stay away from an activated airbag. 

To keep your child safe, select the appropriate car seat depending on his or her age and weight.

Booster Seat Requirements in New Hampshire

Booster seat rules in New Hampshire are similar to its Car Seat Laws. Children under the age of six and taller than 57 inches must be appropriately restrained. 

The parent is free to choose the best safety seat for their child. Just make sure to examine the age and weight requirements for the car seat or booster seat that you intend to use.

Before putting your child in a booster seat, you should wait until they are old and mature enough. They must be able to sit and keep themselves erect. 

Make sure to choose the correct size booster seat for your child. Some alternatives feature a high back to assist younger children to settle. This also helps to keep the seat belt in place.

Some alternatives, however, do not include the back. These are only for older kids. When your child is in a booster seat, always place the seat belt over his or her lap. Place it away from your stomach. Adjust the seat belt so that it fits snugly across your chest.

Seat Belt Laws in New Hampshire

New Hampshire seat belt laws require children between the ages of 7 to 17 to wear a seat belt. The seat belt must fit comfortably on the lap and around the shoulders of the child. 

If your child is under 57 inches tall, you should keep them in a booster seat for safety. Adapt the car seat and seat belt restrictions to your children’s needs

In New Hampshire, you can wear a seat belt if your child is 57 inches tall and under the age of seven. Most booster seats will still work as the child grows taller, so you may keep using them.

Seating positions specifications in New Hampshire

The law in New Hampshire does not specify a preferred seating position for children. When the child can sit without the need for a booster seat, they are ready to ride in the front. The majority of baby and small child car seats do not recommend that the youngster sits in the front seat. It is safest to keep any child in the rear seat unless the car does not have one.

Consequences for Failure to Comply with NH Car Seat Laws

The maximum penalty for a first breach of car seat laws is $50. Any subsequent violations of these regulations may result in additional fines and penalties.

In comparison to other states, New Hampshire has simpler car seat laws and regulations to follow. This makes it easy for parents to obey the rules and pick the safety measures that are right for them. 

For further information, consult local regulations as well as advice from your preferred and trusted car seat manufacturer.

Car Seat Law Exceptions 

There are four exceptions to the car seat and child restraint law in New Hampshire. Among these are: 

  • The child does not need restraints on a bus or a taxi. 
  • Restraints are not necessary for vehicles made before 1968. 
  • When there are physical conditions present that prevent the use of child safety seats.
  • Some special education conditions do not need child car seats.

If you or your kid do not fit in any of these categories, the youngster must be restrained within the car.

when can a child sit in the front seat in nh

In New Hampshire, there is no specific law that prohibits children from sitting in the front seat of a vehicle. However, the state does have child restraint laws that require children to be properly restrained based on their age and size.

Children under the age of 18 must wear a seat belt while riding in a vehicle in New Hampshire. Additionally, children under the age of 7 years old and under 57 inches in height must be properly secured in a child safety seat or booster seat.

While there is no law that prohibits children from sitting in the front seat, it is generally recommended that children under the age of 13 years old ride in the back seat, as the front seat airbags can cause serious injury or even death to young children in the event of a crash. It’s important to always prioritize the safety of children when driving and ensure that they are properly restrained and seated in the appropriate seating position for their age and size.

Compared to other states, NH Car Seat Laws are easier to follow.

In comparison to other states, New Hampshire’s car seat rules are relatively permissive. This gives parents a greater leeway in determining the amount of safety they desire for their children. This may generate confusion about which car seat is ideal for your child. To arrive at the best choice, consider the weight and height limits of the car seat

Several car seat manufacturers give instructions on how to use their devices properly. This can inform you what ages, heights, and weights are best suited to that car seat.

To Conclude

Unlike other states, New Hampshire has fewer rules about car seats and booster seats. Parents have to make sure that all children under age 6 and 57 inches need to be in a car seat or booster seat. 

Once the children reach the age of 7 and get taller than 57 inches, they may move to a seat belt. Children may also sit in front or the back of the car. Choosing the right car seat and using the safety precautions that make you feel comfortable is best. 

Despite having more freedom in choosing which safety seat is the best for your kid, this does not permit anyone to be negligent in choosing a car safety seat appropriate for their children. It is the parents’ responsibility to make sure that their chosen seat will ensure safety and security for their kids while traveling. 

Avatar of Keren Simanova

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

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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