Car Seat Guidelines 2017-01-28T09:38:58-06:00

Car Seat Guidelines

 Car seat guidelines

Child restraints are often used incorrectly. At least 90% of children who are placed in car seats are not properly restrained. By Arkansas law, all children 6 years old or under 6o pounds are required to be in a car seat.

Birth to 12 months: A child under the age of one always rides rear-facing, or facing the back of the car. These children can ride in a rear-facing only carrier, a convertible car seat, or an all-in-one car seat.

1 to 3 years: Children should continue to ride rear-facing as long as possible. This is the safest way for children to ride in a motor vehicle. They should stay in the rear-facing car seat until they reach the upper weight or height limit allowed by that seat for rear-facing, until at least age 2. These children ride in a rear-facing-only carrier, a convertible car seat, or an all-in-one car seat.

4 to 7 years: Children should ride in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until they reach the upper weight or height limit of that car seat. The top tether should always be used when forward facing, unless the weight limit has been reached. These children ride in a convertible or a combination car seat.

8 to 12 years: Children should use a high back booster or a backless booster when they have outgrown the forward facing seat with a harness until they can properly fit a seatbelt.  Boosters are used with lap and shoulder seatbelts only.

13 years and up: Children should only move to a lap and shoulder seatbelt when they properly fit. They should be able to pass the five-step test to move out of the booster seat:

  • Does the shoulder belt lay flat on the shoulder (not on the neck/face or on the arm)?
  • Does the lap portion stay low on the hips or thighs (not on the stomach)?
  • Do the knees bend over the seat and feet rest flat on the floor without slouching?
  • Is the child able to sit all the way back against the vehicle seat?
  • Are they able to stay seated this way the entire ride (not unbuckling, putting belt behind their back, etc.)?

Children should not be front seat passengers until they are at least 13 years old.

If you have questions, please contact:
Heather Smith, CPSTI, Child Passenger Safety Program Coordinator
UAMS NICU/Maternal Infant
Phone: 501-231-0304

Car seat services at UAMS