GIVE YOUR CHILD A BOOST
Kansas law requires children ages 4, 5, 6, and 7* to be secured in a booster seat.
Children under 1
Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat.
There are different types of rear-facing car seats: Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.
Children ages 1, 2, and 3
Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It's the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat's manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
All children ages 4, 5, 6, and 7 are required to ride in a booster seat unless*:
- The child weighs more than 80 pounds; or
- the child is taller than 4 feet 9 inches; or
- only a lap belt is available.
Children who meet the above height and weight criteria must be protected by a seat belt.
Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat's manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it';s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.
Children ages 8 through 13
Children ages 8 though 13 must be protected by a seat belt.
Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it's safer there.
Teenagers ages 14 through 18
Teensagers ages 14 though 18 must be protected by a seat belt.
Primary law: Occupants of a passenger car 14 years of age but younger than 18 can be cited for not wearing a seatbelt without being cited for another violation.
Violations of the Child Passenger Safety Act will cost you $60, plus court costs.
Troopers began issuing warnings for violations of the booster seat provision of the Child Passenger Safety Act on July 1, 2006.
Troopers will begin issuing citations for violations of the booster seat provision of the Child Passenger Safety Act on July 1, 2007.
The $60 fine will be waived if proof is provided to the court that an appropriate child safety seat has been acquired. Court costs still apply.
Why do children ages 4, 5, 6, and 7 need to ride in a booster seat?
Seat belts are made to fit adults and do not protect children properly. Booster seats work by raising a child up so that the lap and shoulder belts are positioned properly. Booster seats reduce the risk of injury by 59 percent, as compared to using only seat belts.
What kinds of booster seats are there?
High-Back Booster Seat
A high-back booster seat provides head and neck support and can be used in all vehicles that have a lap/shoulder safety belt system. Some forward-facing car seats convert to a high-back booster seat.
No-Back Booster Seat
No-back booster seats should only be used in vehicles equipped with built-in head rests.
All booster seats should be used with the vehicle's lap and shoulder belt system; never a lap belt only.
Where do I purchase a booster seat, and how much does one cost?
Booster seats are available at all department stores, toy stores, and other retail outlets. A no-back booster seat costs approximately $15, and a high-back booster seat ranges from $20 to $100, depending on the style. If you need assistance, call 1-855-SEAT CHECK for the location of the nearest child seat inspection station.
Where can I get more information?
For more information on how to choose the appropriate safety restraint system for your child, visit www.kansasboosterseat.org or contact Safe Kids Kansas at (785) 296-0351 or the Kansas Safety Belt Education Office at (800) 416-2522.