All occupants in the vehicle are required by Kansas law to use a seat belt. Seat belts and appropriate child safety restraints consistently prevent serious injury and death. Children need to be properly buckled up in a seat belt, booster seat, or car seat, whichever is appropriate for their age, height and weight:
- Rear-facing car seats. Infants should stay in rear-facing car seats as long as possible. Ideally, until the infant reaches the upper weight and height limit for that particular seat. At minimum, until they are at least 1 year old and weigh at least 20 pounds.
- Front-facing car seats. When infants move into front-facing car seats, they should remain in those seats until they are at least 4 years old and weigh 40 pounds. However, it is safest to stay in a front-facing car seat until the height and weight limit of the seat is reached or the seat no longer fits.
- Booster seats. Once children outgrow a front-facing car seat, they should use a booster seat until they are big enough for the seat belt to fit right. Children can stop using a booster seat when they can sit with their back against the seat back while their legs bend over the end of the seat. A seat belt fits properly when the lap belt lies across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the middle of the child’s shoulder and chest. This typically occurs when the child is 4’9” tall and between 8 and 12 years of age.
- All children age 12 or under need to sit in the back seat, preferable in the middle as it is the safest spot in the vehicle.
- Never seat a child in front of an air bag. Airbags can injure or kill children in a crash that they might otherwise have survived.
For More Information:
Kansas Department of Transportation - Child Passenger Safety