Beginning Aug. 1, new child car seat laws will take effect. The new law requires:
Any child who is younger than 2 years old must be restrained in a rear-facing child safety seat until reaching its weight or height limit.
A child who is older than 2 years old and has outgrown the rear-facing child safety seats must be restrained in a forward-facing child safety seat with an internal harness until reaching its weight or height limit.
A child who is at least 4 years old and has outgrown the forward-facing safety seats must be restrained by a belt-positioning booster seat secured with a seat belt
A child who is at least 9 years old or has outgrown the booster seat can use the car’s adult seat belt if it fits correctly.
The Five Step test is: when the child sits all the way back against the vehicle’s seat, their knees bend over the edge of the seat, the belt fits snugly across their thighs and lower hips and not abdomen and the shoulder strap crosses the center of the child’s chest and not the neck.
You can also learn more about best practices in child safety seat usage from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Installing a child safety seat can be difficult. Reading your specific car seat manufacturer’s guide on how to install the car seat is a good first step. Or browse the complete list of Louisiana Child Passenger Fitting Stations on the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission website.