The enforcement of the Pennsylvania car seat laws lowered the number of car accidents. In the year 2017, the recorded number of car accidents in Pennsylvania State was 128,188 (it is still a huge number).
When properly installed and accurately harnessed, the car seat could save the child from fatal injuries (71% for infants and 54% for toddlers).
Keep reading to know the child safety laws in PA by age of your child.
State Of Pennsylvania Car Seat Laws 2022
Pennsylvania department of transportation state the laws to make sure that children (especially newborn babies and toddlers) are safely restrained in moving vehicles. The laws state that:
“Each child under the age of 4 will be adequately restrained be a standard child restraint system, use a car seat that suits best their age, weight, and height, and the parents would be guilty of PA car seat laws violation if they would not follow the laws.”
The above-stated laws are the same as recommended by child safety experts i.e. NHTSA (national highway traffic safety administration), FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), and AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics).
There are 4 types of car seats by age that your child will use throughout their car seat ages. Read below to get to know the right car seat and related laws according to the age of your child.
1. Pennsylvania Car Seat Laws for Rear-Facing Child
Pennsylvania car seat laws for rear-facing child states that:
“Children below 2 years of age will sit in rear-facing car seats until they have outgrown the age (0-2+ years), weight (5-30+ lbs.), and height (25+ inches) limit for that car seat.”
A rear-facing car seat is life-saving for young children in car accidents. They have fragile bodies that are still under development.
Therefore, the parents are advised to extend the rear-facing period of their child’s car seat to 4 years until they have grown strong to withstand the car accident injuries.
Rear facing vs forward facing statistics recommended the rear-facing car seats as safest compared to forward-facing car seats for children of age 0-3 years (newborns, infants, and toddlers).
2. Pennsylvania Car Seat Laws for Forward-Facing Child
Does the question “When to upgrade from infant car seat in Pennsylvania” bothers you?
Under Pennsylvania car seat laws:
“When a child is 2+ years old, weighting 30+ lbs. and height 30+ inches will be allowed to sit in the forward-facing car seats.”
The requirements for forward-facing car seats vary from brand to brand. Some of the best car seat brands, such as Graco and Britax car seats.
Note: The child restraint system must be as recommended by the car seat manufacturer because the forward-facing car seats are not as safe as rear-facing therefore, these should be properly installed, and the child must be adequately restrained in them.
3. Pennsylvania Car Seat Laws for Booster Car Seats
According to Pennsylvania car seat laws:
“When your child has outgrown the age for forward-facing infant car seats i.e. 4 years, it is the right time to shift them to booster car seats.”
Booster car seats are mandatory to use under PA child car seat laws. If you cannot afford to buy a new car seat for your child, you can trade in your old child’s car seat in the following car seat programs.
Click the following links to know the details.
- Walmart car seat trade in 2022
- Target car seat trade in 2022
- WIC free car seat program
- How to get a free car seat through Medicaid 2022?
Requirements for Booster Seat in PA:
Booster car seats are of two types: high-back boosters and backless booster seats. Both have different requirements and use instructions such as:
|Car Seat Requirements||High-Back Booster Car Seat||Backless Booster Car Seat|
|Age limit||4-8+ years||10-12 years
|Weight limit||40-110 lbs.
|57ʺ and above
- When your child is 10 years old or when the vehicle seat belt fits them perfectly, they can stop using a booster car seat
- Do not recline the booster car seat while installing the booster car seats without a latch system
- Make sure that there is no gap between the car seat back and the vehicle seat
- Buckle up the unoccupied booster car seat, as it may be dangerous during car accidents
4. Child Seat Belt Laws Pennsylvania 2022
PA seatbelt laws state that:
“When your child is 12+ years old, and the vehicle seat belt fits them perfectly, it will be safe to wear a seat belt.”
Knowing the accurate positioning of the seat belt is very important for the parents as well as for the children. It is also necessary for the safety of your child. The seat belt should be:
- The lap belt will cross the upper thighs and not the stomach
- The shoulder belt should cover the shoulders and chest and not the neck or face
- The child should use both the shoulder and lap belts
Knowing and having the right car seat for your child is not enough; the parents must know some other Pennsylvania car seat laws that could be life-saving for their child.
Some of the basic things that you should not do while traveling with a child in Pennsylvania are listed below.
1. When can my child sit in the front seat in PA?
According to the PDT (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation):
“When your child is 13 years old, they can sit in the front passenger seat with an active airbag.”
For a rear-facing car seat:
The ideal position is the center of the back seat because it would be furthest away from any point of impact in case of a car crash.
For a forward-facing car seat:
When you have to install a single car seat, the middle of the back seat in the vehicle is the best.
Read more -> Does car seat go behind driver or passenger?
2. Is it illegal to leave a child alone in a car in Pennsylvania?
In the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Title 75:
“The parents are not allowed to leave a child unattended who is below the age of 6 in the car.”
If the parents or caregivers violate the laws, they will consider “committing a summary offense.” The parents should understand that it is not safe for their children to be alone (no matter if they are sleeping or not) in the car and when they are restrained.
3. Is it illegal to smoke in the presence of a child in Pennsylvania?
In the Pennsylvania car seat laws, there is not any specific law that describes smoking in the presence of a child as right or wrong.
However, in several states of the US, such as Utah, Arkansas, Vermont, California, Oregon, Maine, and Puerto Rico, it is illegal to smoke in the presence of children (below 18 years of age) in vehicles.
It is because cigarette smoke is highly injurious to the child’s health, and long-term exposure may cause cancer and other respiratory issues in them.
4. What are the Pennsylvania car seat laws for taxi and rented vehicles?
Under Pennsylvania car seat laws, there is no specific law describing the right or wrong of using the baby car seat in rented vehicles, including taxis.
Logically, taxis and other rented vehicles are equally susceptible to car accidents as your car is. Therefore, you should never take risks for your child’s safety.
The parents who have frequently rented cars used to keep an extra lightweight and cheaper car seat to be used at that time.
Of parent’s interest à most comfortable car seat for long trips
5. What are the Pennsylvania car seat laws for using an expired car seat?
There is no law in Pennsylvania to stop using a car seat when it has expired. However, the parents must know why car seats have expiration dates.
Baby car seats are made up of petroleum-based plastic. It becomes brittle and unsafe for your child after a certain period that we call the expiry date of that car seat.
If you have the car seat of the best car seat brands, they would have a maximum of 8-10 years of service life.
More on Car Seat Expiration:
- How long are Britax car seats good for?
- safety first car seat expiration
Car Seat Use for Pennsylvania Parents
If you are planning to visit Pennsylvania State soon or expecting a new child, or have to upgrade your child’s car seat, the following to-the-point video will assist you a lot.
Child Safety and Car Seat Help Centers in Pennsylvania
If you need help or want to learn how to deal with a car seat in Pennsylvania, you can visit the following lace or their websites.
- Traffic Injury Prevention Program Fitting Stations
- Big Oak Citgo Certified Child Passenger Safety
- NHTSA car seat inspection Center
- West Whiteland Child Safety Seats
- Township of Upper St. Clair Special Child Safety Seat Inspection
- West Manchester Township Police Department Child Safety Seat Inspections
- Safe Kids Pennsylvania
- Montgomery county Car Seat Checks
- Children’s Hospital of Petersburg
- Pennsylvania State Police Car Seat Inspection Station
- Silver Spring Child Safety Seat Inspection
- Chambersburg Fire Department Child Safety Seat Program
While wrapping up our discussion here, we hope that you have learned about the right car seat according to your child’s age, how to use it safely, and what are the Pennsylvania car seat laws regarding that car seat.
To stay updated on smart parenting tips and tricks, you should keep visiting our website www.topbbayseats.com
Happy parenting to Pennsylvania Parents!