Car Seat Laws Florida

Car Seat Laws Florida

The alarming rise of accidents, fatalities, and injuries related to accidents has caused an alarm for drivers, commuters, and especially parents. It is a fact that accidents have a serious impact on children’s emotional, mental and physical bodies. The state acting in a “parens patriae” capacity has certain ordinances and laws that are primarily geared to protect children from any harm or incidents that may expose them to any form of danger.

The Florida Car Seat Laws are one of the statutes wherein the state safeguards the health and welfare of children, especially the very young ones. It cannot be denied that there are some drivers as well as parents that are negligent in ensuring the safety of the children during the time that they are inside the car or vehicle.

To be properly guided by the salient features of this law, it is better to understand in detail for one to avoid facing the corresponding penalties being imposed for the violation of the state law on car seats. Certain requirements are imposed by the law, such as;

Child passengers.

Undeniably, passengers can be as young as a newly born baby, and it is imperative for the state to ensure that their safety is being ensured. It is the spirit behind the law that provides that there should be a separate carrier device or a manufacturer’s integrated child seat that must be allocated to very young passengers such as infants and toddlers up to three years old.

A booster seat or a separate carrier device must be had for passengers aged four years old up to age five.  It will be discretionary for the kid aged six years old whether to use a separate carrier device or a seatbelt. Parents, as well as those drivers who have passengers within these age brackets, must ensure to abide by the requirements being imposed by the law.

Transgressing the law would be tantamount to being penalized with the following penalty, such as adding three points against the driver’s license and a fine of $60. There could also be some instances wherein the additional three points against one’s driver’s license may be waived by the court, and a delinquent driver may be sent to a child restraint safety program.

Gray Areas of the law

There may be some “clouds” of doubts about this law, and it may cause some confusion, such as the requirement for a child restraint system that is crash-tested and federally approved for infants up to five years old. However, the law did not clearly define as well as provide the details of a child restraint system.

Though the age bracket of the children is being clarified, the law is silent when it comes to the appropriate height and weight of the child that would be appropriate for a separate carrier or used in each type of car seat.

No weight limit was being imposed because it is only geared to the age reference of the child or just requires the parents to use the federally approved child restraint system.

But Florida’s law on car seats, which is primarily based on the age of the child, may conflict with the American Academy of Pediatrics and as well on all existing federally approved car seats for their guidelines, is not primarily based on the age of the child. Still, it is based on the height and weight of the child. Biologically, children are different when it comes to their growth factors.  

The growth of the child varies, and they grow at different rates, and making the age of the child as the basis will make a clear cutoff which may be arbitrary. If the basis for the appropriate car seat is based on the height as well as the weight of the child, there is a great possibility that it is suited to the child and could be the safest for them.  

Rear-Facing Car Seat

It is a big mistake and unacceptable to put an infant child and a toddler in a forward-facing seat. Though the Florida Law may be silent on this matter, it is a must that young passengers such as infants and toddlers must be in the rear-facing car seat. It is in line with the current national guidelines. To ensure that you will not violate any laws, it is imperative to observe the manufacturer’s guidelines for putting the child in the rear-facing car seat.  

You may opt to have a larger rear-facing car seat when your child may be a bit bigger than the present rear-facing car seat. Since the Florida law is primarily based on the age of the passenger, it connotes that a child aged months to 4 years old must remain in the rear-facing seat.

Car Seat Laws Florida

Florida Laws on Car Seat does not provide for the exact “age” when the child can already use the forward-facing seat. It is implied that the manufacturer’s guidelines must be used in this scenario. As a parent, it is a must that all pertinent guidelines must be followed not for fear of a penalty or a fine, but for the safety of the child.

The manufacturer’s guidelines provide that a child can already start using the forward-facing car seat when he or she is already about 40 to 45 pounds, when the child may already be about four years old.

You can read this article here

Booster Seat

Your child may already be jumping in the excitement of using the booster seat. Still, before jumping right to it, you must be sure that the child is already within the age bracket that is allowed by the law to use a booster seat, or they have already outgrown the height and weight limit for the forward-facing car seat.

As a safety precautionary measure, you must check the following;

Height of the child.

The height must be at least 35 inches tall but is not yet 4’9” tall, and his or her weight must be about 40 to 80 pounds.

The posture of the child

You can already see that the child is already slouching whenever he or she sits with his or her back against the vehicle seat.

The right time for a child to use a seatbelt

Using a seatbelt is being allowed under the laws of Florida when the child is already six years old. For some, it may be too early or too “young” for the kid to be allowed to use the seatbelt. For them, it is appropriate to use height as the basis for allowing the kid to use a seatbelt. The recommended height for a kid to be allowed to use a seat belt is about 4’9” tall.

Aside from the allowable age and height, it is also a must that you must observe that the child’s entire back is touching the backseat. Make sure that your child is not slouching, and the belt’s shoulder portion must rest across the collar bone but should not be touching the neck. Another thing to consider is that your child can maintain sitting in that position for the entire duration of the travel.  

It is better to observe the Florida laws for the safety of your young ones.