Statistics indicate that approximately 85% of child safety seats are being misused nationally, so the following information is presented to inform and encourage parents to take a few extra minutes to ensure their children are restrained properly. The laws can be a bit confusing, so officers want to help explain the proper and legal way to restrain their children.
Indiana’s Child Restraint Law:
All children under the age of 8 must be properly restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat according to the child restraint system manufacturer’s instructions.
- Children under the age of one-year and less than 20 lbs. MUST be restrained in a rear-facing child safety seat. Many newer seats will restrain a child rear-facing up to 30-35 lbs. Troopers encourage parents to keep their children rear-facing as long as possible.
- Children that are at least one-year old and 20 lbs. may be restrained in a forward-facing child safety seat with an internal harness system.
- Children at least 30 lbs. may use a booster seat, but troopers encourage parents to keep their children restrained in a forward-facing seat until at least 40 lbs.
- Indiana law requires all children under the age of eight to use a child restraint system in accordance with the child restraint system manufacturer’s instruction, which are based upon the child’s height and weight. The child restraint system normally used by children in this age group is the booster seat.
- All children under the age of 16 must be properly restrained either by using a seat belt or a child restraint system, to include a booster seat.
Additionally, please keep the following safety tips in mind when transporting children:
- Child safety seats must be properly secured to the vehicles seat belt or LATCH system and should not move side to side or forward more than one-inch.
- Children should stay rear-facing until one-year of age and 20 lbs.
- The retainer clip that connects the two shoulder harness straps must be kept at the child’s armpit level.
- Harness straps must be kept snug.