All parents and guardians traveling through Florida are responsible for knowing the state’s most up-to-date child safety seat laws. Like every other state in the nation, FL police take these laws seriously. So, violators could face serious punishments if they are caught. Besides fines, you could get points taken off of your license if police catch you driving around the Sunshine State with a child who is not properly secured.
Thankfully, parents have many helpful resources available to help them understand what’s expected of them. If you’re unfamiliar with these laws, then it’s well worth your time to read through Florida’s safety seat policies listed below. We’ll also share a few helpful websites you could use to better understand Florida’s child safety seat laws.
A Quick Overview Of Florida’s Child Safety Seat Laws
Florida law requires children under the age of 5 to be properly restrained in a safety device when traveling in a vehicle. For children between the ages of 0-3 years old, this could either be a separate carrier device. Or, a vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child seat. However, children between the ages of 4-5, could legally use a booster seat or the other two options listed above.
Although Florida law doesn’t specify which car seat to use, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests parents follow these guidelines:
- Infants should ride in a rear-facing restraint until they outgrow the manufacturer’s height and weight limits.
- After rear-facing seats, children should transition to forward-facing devices until they weigh over 65 pounds.
- Once a child has outgrown forward-facing seats, s/he should move on to a booster seat.
- Parents shouldn’t allow children to wear a car’s safety belt until they are at least 4’9’’ tall.
To read Florida’s child safety laws in full, please see Florida State Statute 316.613. You could also learn more about these laws on this Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) page about Child Restraints.
A Few Helpful Safety Resources
Unfortunately, recalls aren’t uncommon in the car safety seat industry. Parents should check the latest news from their car seat’s manufacturer. This will ensure they are using a product without any potential hazards. One easy way to keep tabs on car seat recalls is to visit this portal put together by the FHSMV. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also has a website dedicated to car seat recalls which you could find by clicking on this link.
Not sure you installed your child safety seat is properly? Then you should schedule an appointment with a Florida Highway Patrol officer for a complimentary evaluation. To find an official safety screening location near Tampa or anywhere else in Florida, please visit this webpage put together by the FHSMV.
Using all these resources will help you when traveling with your little ones. Keeping your child safe from the Panhandle all the way to the Keys.