Indiana’s Child Restraint Law:
All children under the age of 8 must be properly restrained in a child safety seat or a booster seat according to the child restraint system manufacturer’s instructions. Any child 12 and under must sit in the back seat if there is one available. Many parents are confused about the law, so troopers want to help explain the proper and legal way to restrain their children.
- Children MUST be restrained in a rear-facing child safety seat from birth until they outgrow the rear facing only seat (22lbs – 40 lbs).
- When an infant outgrows the rear facing only seat, the child will move to a rear facing convertible seat.
- The child will rear-face until the child reaches the upper rear facing weight or height limit for a convertible car seat.
- Many newer seats will restrain a child rear-facing up to 40-50 lbs. Troopers encourage parents to keep their children rear-facing as long as possible in a rear facing only or convertible car seat.
- Children should ride in a forward-facing child safety seat with a harness when they outgrow the rear facing convertible seat. The child should remain in a forward-facing child safety seat with a harness until the upper forward-facing weight or height limit of the seat (usually between 40 to 65 pounds) is reached.
- Children at least 40 pounds may use a booster seat, but troopers encourage parents to keep their children restrained in a forward-facing seat with a harness until at least 65 lbs.
- Use a Belt Positioning Booster Seat after the child outgrows a forward-facing harness seat (usually a minimum age of 4 years and 40 pounds).
- Belt Positioning Booster Seats must be used with a lap and shoulder belt (use with a lap only belt is prohibited).
- 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 passengers must be properly restrained either by using a seat belt or a child restraint system.
Indiana State Police would like to remind parents and others who transport children the following safety tips:
- Child safety seats must be properly secured to the vehicles seat belt or LATCH system and should not move side to side or front to back more than one-inch.
- Children should stay rear-facing as long as possible.
- The retainer (chest) clip that connects the two shoulder harness straps must be kept at the child’s armpit level.
- Harness straps must be kept snug.