Beginning January 1, 2020, new car seat laws go into effect in Washington.
Chances are, these new laws will affect you if you drive children that are under 4’9″ tall. Below is a summary of the new laws:
- Children older than four years old but shorter than 4’9” and who have outgrown their child harness seat must use a booster seat. That means most kids will need a booster seat until 10 to 12 years old.
- Children under age two must use a rear-facing car seat until they reach the highest weight and height allowed by their seat.
- Kids ages two and at least four should use a forward-facing, age-appropriate child harness seat until they reach the seat’s height and weight limits. Many seats can accommodate children up to 65 pounds.
- When children are old and big enough to use the car seat belt alone, they should still use lap and shoulder seat belts for optimal protection.
- Drivers will be ticketed if a passenger under age 16 is not using the correct car seat, booster seat or seat belt based on their age, height or weight.
While these aren’t considered major changes, they align Washington state law with what the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends. These new laws also help to clarify when it’s time to change car seat types.
If you need help with choosing or confirming you have the right car seat setup for your vehicle, don’t forget that we have an amazing resource here in the Seattle area – Car Seat Lady Sue! To read more about my experience working with Sue, please click this link.
Have a safe and wonderful holidays!
Update: Please check out the informational flyers that Laura Miccile just shared with us. Thanks Laura!