Iowa car seat laws are designed to keep your children safe. Therefore, following the Iowa child car seat laws is essential if you plan a trip to Iowa. Iowa is one of the states of the US that obey the child safety laws very strictly.
These laws have been designed to save your children from injuries and death in an accident. These laws aim to ensure that children are well restrained in the child restraint system when travelling in a car.
Iowa has had some alterations in its car seat and seat belt laws over the last few years. These changes can be a little confusing to you, so let’s take some time to explore these laws in detail to keep each other safe!
Understanding Iowa car seat laws can be confusing, so we have created this comprehensive guide that will help you understand everything you want to learn about Iowa car seat laws. It also includes suggestions for road safety to keep your loved ones safe.
Iowa Child Car Seat Laws
According to Iowa car seat laws, kids under 1 year of age and weighing less than 20 pounds must be secured in rear-facing car seats. These seats should fulfil all the requirements and fit the children according to their weight and age. Motor cycles and school buses are not included in Iowa car seat laws, while motor vehicles need to follow the rear-facing restrained system used in compliance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Following are some height, age, and weight car seat requirements of Iowa:
- All infants under 1 year weighing less than 20 pounds should ride in rear-facing car seats.
- Iowa, child safety law has not issued any particular requirement about forward-facing car seats.
- As reported by experts, most children outgrow or exceed the rear-facing car seat requirements before 4 years.
- Children can be transferred to booster seats once they exceed the height and weight requirements of the forward-facing car seat.
- All children aged 18 and below should sit in the car using a car seat or a safety belt to stay safe. Older than 18 can sit in the back without a seat belt.
Parents can choose when to transfer their child from a forward-facing seat to a booster seat. Follow the guidance on car seats and determine when it is safe to transit the child.
Rear-Facing Car Seat Law In Iowa
According to rear-facing car seat laws by state, newborn to 1-year-old kids and those weighing less than 20 pounds should ride in rear-facing seats. American Academy of Pediatrics advises that parents keep their infants from the age of 0 to 2 years in rear-facing seats during travelling. The baby should travel in rear-facing seats till the ultimate height and weight requirements are met.
The maximum weight limit for this seat is up to 40 pounds. The rear-face car seat should follow all the regulations set by the federal government. As per federal rules, seats should be suitably installed with a 5-point harness that safely restrains babies.
These seats are considered safest for children and provide the most protection because the back of the seat absorbs most of the impact during a crash. Consequently, the weak part of the child’s body, like the spine, head, and neck, are protected from possible injury. The seat should be placed in the car’s back seat and should not be closer to an active airbag because the airbag can be dangerous for them during a crash.
Forward-Faced Seats Law In Iowa
Iowa, child safety law has not issued any particular requirements for the forward-facing car seats. According to the Iowa Governors Traffic safety Bureau recommendations, parents can graduate their child to a forward-facing seat once they become 1 year or more and weigh between 20 to 40 pounds.
It would be best to restrain your kid in a forward-facing car seat after surpassing the rear-facing seat limit. Follow the guidelines of the seat manufacturers for using forward-facing seats. According to experts’ recommendations, forward-facing seats should be used until 4 years of age.
They can also be restrained in these seats until 8 years.
For forward-facing seats, the suitable age is 4 to 8 years, and the weight is 40 pounds. Children should be restrained with a 5-point harness with belts going across the upper thighs and chest in this seat.
Nowadays, these seats can hold up a child up to 65 pounds, so children can use this seat until they exceed this weight and height limits. The front-facing seat should be placed in the back seat and away from the active airbag.
Booster Seat Law In Iowa
Children can transfer to the booster seat once the forward-face seat height and weight needs for the booster seat set by the manufacturers surpass. Generally, this happens at 8 years, and you can also keep children in a booster seat until 12 years.
According to Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau’s guide, children can be graduated to booster seats as they become 40 pounds or more and should remain in a booster seat until a weight of 80 pounds or 4’9″ height is achieved.
A booster seat should be only used with lap belts, and the secure method is to use it with both shoulder and lap belts for the security of your children. Ensure that the shoulder belt tightly and comfortably crosses the chest area, and the lap belt snugly fits across the thighs but not the stomach.
Seat Belt Law In Iowa
Iowa seat belt law that all children below the age of 18 must be properly secured in a restrained system. Rear or forward-facing seats, booster seats, car seats, or seat belts can be used as a restrained system by following the instructions listed above.
Passengers must use a seat belt with lap and shoulder belts. The shoulder belt should fit across the shoulder area snugly, not under the arm. The lap belt must cover the thighs and lap, so it should not cross the stomach. No seat belt is required in the car’s back seat, but it is suggested for your safety.
Iowa Law For Sitting In The Front Seat
Iowa car seat laws require that all children under 12 years should not be in the car’s back seat and must be appropriately restrained. Children of age 13 can sit in the front seat, but they must use a seat belt. It is suggested that children under 6 must be appropriately restrained in the car’s rear seat and should not sit in the front seat because airbags could harm them in case of an accident. All kids below 18 years should use a safety belt or a proper child safety system.
Are Car Seats Required In Taxis?
Taxis do not exempt from Iowa car seat laws. But, this law is a bit different from other states in that taxi drivers are not accountable for kids’ safety. parents would be answerable in case of any violation or negligence. Parents should bring car seats or booster seats for their children with them and ensure that children are appropriately restrained in proper car seats, or if the child is old enough not to use car seats, he must wear a seat belt.
Is It Illegal To Smoke In The Car?
Smoking in a car with children in Iowa is not illegal, but ethically it is not suitable as secondhand smoke can have a hazardous impact on a child’s health. It can cause various disorders in children like pneumonia and asthma, or it may result in more extreme conditions if exposed for a long time, like heart attack, lung cancer, and SIDS.
Leaving Child Unattended In Car Law In Iowa
There is no clear law in Iowa that deals with leaving a child unattended in a car. But Iowa has a child endangerment law for children’s safety, and it may be applied in any case if your child is subjected to physical or emotional harm.
Exceptions To Iowa Car Seat Laws:
There are certain exemptions to Iowa car seat laws, and they are as follows:
- If children have any physical, medical, or mental disability and have a certificate by a doctor that makes use of restraint unadvisable.
- Kids travelling in motor vehicles manufactured before 1966.
- Kids travelling on a bus as well as a school bus.
- Children are transported in approved emergency vehicles like ambulances.
- Children riding on bikes or motorcycles.
- Kids who are fascinated by peace officers on the official job.
- Kids travelling in motor homes, excluding travelling in the front seat, if riding front seat they must be restrained.
Penalties For The Violation Of Iowa Car Seat Laws
You are simply a misdemeanour if you violate the Iowa car seat laws. According to the Iowa child seat laws 2022, a person who contravenes the seat belt or safety harness law will be penalized with $50.00. the violation of the child safety system will be fined $100.00.
You may not be sentenced as an offender for the first violation of Iowa child safety law if you show the court within an adequate time that you have obtained or purchased a child safety system that complies with the federal motor vehicle safety standards.
Iowa car seat laws are established to ensure your child’s safety and prevent them from various health hazards or death. By correctly understanding and following the Iowa laws and regulations, you can protect your loved ones from injuries and even death in car accidents. Obeying these laws can also help to avoid penalties.
Iowa has made some changes in its laws that may be confusing for some parents. Still, this article is a complete guide and written in simple English so everyone can understand the Iowa car seat laws easily.
After reading these car seat laws, you are ready to have a trip to Iowa with your children. Ensure that you provide an appropriate restrained system to your young ones and keep them safe and sound while travelling in Iowa.