Car Seat Safety Program
Motor vehicle crashes are among the leading causes of death for children ages 3 to 14 years old. A minor crash or even a sudden stop can seriously injure a child who is not riding in the right type of child safety seat.
You can reduce the risk by having your child always ride in a properly fastened and secured safety seat.
When Is a Child Big Enough to Wear an Adult Safety Belt
- Tall enough to sit without slouching, by Massachusetts law over 57 inches
- Shoulder belt rests comfortably across the shoulder and chest, not the neck or throat
- Lap belt fits securely, low and snug on hips
- Sits with back and buttocks against seat
- Knees completely bend over edge of seat
- Feet are flat on the floor
- Stays comfortably seated
Summary Massachusetts Child Passenger Safety Law as of July 10, 2008
- Children must be in a federally approved child passenger restraint that is properly fastened and secured until they are 8 years old OR over 57" tall.
- The operator of the motor vehicle in which a child age 12 or under is not properly restrained shall be subject to a fine of $25
- A police officer can stop your vehicle if a child age 12 or under is not properly restrained.
- Children 12 and under should always ride in the back seat. Follow vehicle manufacturers' warnings about seating of children near airbags.
- Important: Never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of an airbag. Never place a shoulder belt behind the back or under the arm.
- Set a good example: 70% of children whose parents do not buckle up will not buckle up when they become adults. Wear your safety belt every time! Massachusetts law requires everyone to be properly restrained.
- Any loose object in a vehicle can become a projectile in a crash. Use a trunk or cargo area to properly store loose items.
- Learn to properly use your child's safety seat by reviewing the seat and vehicle manufacturer's instruction. If you still need assistance,you can find a Child Passenger Safety Technician online, call 1-877-392-5956 or TTY 617-725-0261
Residents are urged to make appointments with our departments child passenger safety technician. Detective Perry and Officer Nagle can be reached by email.
Use the chart on this page as a general guide to what safety seat your child should ride in.
Seat & Vehicle Manufacturers' Instructions
|Type of Seat
Infants: Birth to a minimum of 1 year
|Infant seat or rear-facing convertible
Toddlers: 1 to 3 years
|Remain in rear-facing car seat until he/she reaches top height/weight limit of seat's manufacturer. Once child outgrows the rear facing seat, he/she is ready to travel in a forward-facing seat with harness
Young Children: 4 to 7 years
Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he/she reaches the top height/weight limit allowed by seat's manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing seat, a booster seat in the back seat of car is the next step.
Child: 8 to 12 years
|Mass. Law requires your child be secured in a federally approved booster seat until 8 years old or 57 inches tall. At that time he/she is ready for an adult safety belt. The safest place for a child is in the back seat of a vehicle.