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Indiana Criminal Justice Institute

ICJI > Traffic Safety > Occupant Protection > Children Children

Indiana’s child passenger safety law requires all children less than eight years of age to be properly restrained in a federally approved child restraint system, which can include a belt positioning booster seat. Children at least 8 years old until their 16th birthday must be properly restrained in a child restraint or seat belt in all seating positions in all vehicles. For additional information on Indiana’s child restraint law, click here.

ICJI conducts child passenger safety education and outreach activities through the Automotive Safety Program. (childseat.in.gov). This includes more than 100 permanent locations where families and caregivers can go to have their child restraint installation inspected by a certified child passenger safety technician.

The chart below indicates current recommendations for children through 8 years of age.

Your child under age one should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats: Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time

Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.

Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.

Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it’s safer there.

Child Passenger Safety Resources