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Departments » Health & Human Services-Public Health » Car Seat Program
Car Seat Basics

Rear Facing Car Seats - Always keep children rear facing until reaching the maximum height or weight of the car seat or at least until two years old.

Forward Facing Car Seats - Children should ride forward facing using a five-point harness until reaching the maximum height or weight of the car seat or at least until they are four years old AND weigh 40 pounds.

Booster Seats - Children should ride in a booster seat until they are 4"9" tall or are at least 8 years old or weigh 80 pounds. Always use a lap and shoulder belt with a booster seat, never a lap belt only. If using a backless booster, you must have good head support behind the child.


  • Don't use a car seat that is more than six years old. Don't use a car seat that is missing labels. Don't use a car seat that has been in a crash or one that has been recalled. Don't know? Don't use it!
  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for both the car seat and the vehicle! Do not add anything to the seat that did not come with it. Do not remove anything from the seat unless the manufactuer's instructions allow.
  • Is your car seat tighty installed? When used the right way, car seats should not move more than one inch from side to side.
  • Tighten the harness straps on the children so that you cannot pinch the straps over. Too loose is not safe in a crash.



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