Pennsylvania car seat laws require children under 2 years to use a rear-facing car seat and those aged 2-4 years to use a forward-facing car seat. Booster seats are recommended until a child is at least 8 years old, and parents are encouraged to follow the manufacturer’s weight and height limits. Children under 13 should sit in the back seat, and all children under 18 must wear a seat belt. Parents can choose to keep their children in a safety seat longer if they wish.
As a fellow mom, I know that your child’s safety is your priority, and car seat laws are in place to protect them. Installing the appropriate car seat correctly can make a difference in an accident. Don’t rush through the process; seek help from a trusted source if needed. Remember, you’re doing your best to keep your child safe. The purpose of the Pennsylvania car seat laws is to help keep your children safe. According to this study, proper car seat use reduces the risk of injury in crashes by 71–82% for children, compared to using a seat belt alone.
All of this information can be overwhelming. In this article, I will walk you through all the relevant Pennsylvania car seat laws you need to know. And I also provide other information about keeping your child safe while you drive. Read on
Pennsylvania Rear-Facing Car Seat Laws
The Pennsylvania Car Seat Laws require all children to use a rear-facing car seat until they are 2 years old. You may also choose to keep your Child rear-facing even after they reach their second birthday. The best practice you can follow is to keep the child in a rear-facing position until they reach their seat’s maximum weight or height limits.
The state also requires all car seats to be installed properly. This means that the car seat will not wiggle or move off the belt path, and the car seat will recline to prevent the infant’s head from falling forward. In addition, no additional products should be put on the car seat, including stuff like hanging toys.
PA Forward-facing Car Seat Law
Pennsylvania Car Seat Laws allow a child who is between the ages of two and four to use a forward-facing seat. Your child should not be placed in a forward-facing position earlier than age 2. Doing so increases their risk of being harmed and suffering injuries in the event of an accident. Once you turn your child around and start using a forward-facing car seat, you should keep them in the five-point harness until they reach the maximum weight or height of the car seat.
Pennsylvania Booster Seat Laws
Children between the ages of 4 and 8 are allowed to use a booster seat. You may choose to keep your child in a forward-facing car seat past the age of eight as well. For the booster seat, your child must be at least 40 pounds, regardless of their age. If your child is four years old but under the weight limit of 40 pounds, then it is best to keep them in a five-point harness instead.
A booster seat is a good option for your child as long as it is used properly. Once your child is the right weight, you can transition them to an approved booster seat whenever you feel ready to transition. Make sure that the seat belts fit when using a booster seat; you want the lap belt to fit along the upper thighs and not the stomach. Likewise, the shoulder belt should fit snugly around the chest.
Once your child weighs more than 80 pounds or is taller than 4’9, you can transition from a booster seat to a safety belt. However, your child must stay in the booster seat until they can safely use the vehicle safety belt.
Although children can transition to a booster seat at the age of 4, it is recommended that they remain in a five-point harness car seat for longer. Then, once the child reaches that car seat’s maximum weight or height limits, you can move them to the right booster seat.
New Car Seat Laws 2020 in PA Some Uber and taxi
Before the implementation of new car seat regulations in Pennsylvania in 2020, all children were only required to use a rear-facing seat until age two. This modification was developed to improve your child’s safety when traveling and was based on suggestions from the APA. It also stated that children under the age of four must use a child safety seat. However, it never went into detail as to whether the child should be seated in a rear-facing or front-facing position. It also did not mention that the child should be sitting in the back of the car.
Pennsylvania’s new car seat laws spell out all the specific rules for a child riding in a car more clearly. They include the rules we discussed above. The lawmakers in the state are optimistic that this measure will enhance the safety of children.
Pennsylvania Car Seat Laws for Taxis
Pennsylvania Car Seat Laws require your child to still use the proper child safety seat when riding in an Uber or a taxi. If the child is younger than two, they must use a rear-facing car seat. Children age two to four must use a forward-facing car seat. And children up to the age of eight may use a booster.
The parent is responsible for having their child in the right child safety seat. Some Uber and taxis may provide a car seat if you tell them beforehand. However, if the company cannot provide this service, you must bring your own for your child to sit on. If you frequently travel with Uber and Taxis with your child, consider purchasing an affordable portable car seat.
PA Car Seat Laws Pickup Trucks
Pennsylvania car seat laws in pickup trucks allow your child to sit in the front seat. This is only done if the pickup truck does not have a back seat or all the other seats are used by children in child safety seats. If you are using a full-sized pickup, your child should have room in the back seat. It is always safest to put them in one of the back seats.
For smaller pickups, the child may sit in the front if all the seats are occupied in the back. However, you should still use the proper child safety seat based on your child’s age, height, and weight. The middle seat is the safest position in the front. Place your child in that spot rather than to the side if available. Always ensure all airbags are turned off while the child is in front of the vehicle to avoid them deploying and risking injury.
When can my child sit in the Front-Seat in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania Car Seat Laws recommend that your child remains in the back seat until they turn 13. It is always safer for the children to stay in the vehicle’s back seat for as long as possible to minimize injuries in the event of an accident. In addition, all children age 8 to 18 must wear a seatbelt in this state. This is mandatory, whether they sit in the front or the back.
However, there are some circumstances in which a child under 13 may sit in the front seat, such as when the car has no room for a back seat or when kids in approved safety seats occupy all of the back seats. This may happen in a small car when driving with four children or in a pickup without a backseat. Even if your child is positioned in the front, using the right child safety seat is still best.
If there are enough seats in the back of the vehicle, then your child must sit there, making sure that Pennsylvania Car Seat Laws are followed by using the proper safety seat or restraint until they are 13. After that, you may choose to keep your child in the back for even longer.
Pennsylvania Car Seat Laws for Children with Special Needs
Parents must follow the Pennsylvania Car Seat Laws regarding those with special needs. It is advisable to have a dedicated car seat for children with special needs to adhere to their distinct requirements and provide additional support.
Ways special needs children can ride in the car include:
*Car Wheelchairs: The car must have extra room to accommodate the chair and a way to enter and exit. For example, it will likely have ramps or lifts.
*Specialty Car Seats: Many name-brand companies create car seats appropriate for children with special needs. These seats might include extra features such as a special harness or additional room.
The reason for car seat regulations in Pennsylvania is to keep your little ones safe while on the road. So it’s imperative to follow them to avoid accidents that might harm your child. The state has recently updated its car seat laws for 2020 to make them safer for your child. They now match up more closely with the recommendations of the American Pediatric Association guidelines.
These guidelines require your child to sit rear-facing until they are 2, in a forward-facing car seat until they are 4, and in a booster seat until they are eight. After that, the child must remain in the back seat whenever possible until age 13.
Parents always have the option to keep their children in each seat for as long as possible. However, it is our responsibility that they remain safe and unharmed every time we travel inside a car. By complying with the laws, we can be confident that we are protected from any unfortunate occurrence.