For nearly 50 years, car seat laws have determined how children should ride safely in a motor vehicle. However, each state has different laws regarding age, height, and weight. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide helping parents learn the ropes about Florida car seat law.
Florida Car Seat Laws
- Age 0-3: Children must be in a detachable carrier. This could be a baby carrier with anchors or (for toddlers) a full-sized car seat.
- Age 4-5: Children in the preschool and early kindergarten range must use either a full-sized car seat anchored to the car or a booster seat using the vehicle’s safety belt.
At age six and older, Florida law allows children to sit without a booster seat. While legal, this can create potential safety issues. Additionally, Parents can be held responsible for a seat belt violation if a child under the age of 18 is not buckled in their seat, even if they weren’t aware of the violation. Florida's car seat law is somewhat basic when compared with other states.
Many states require that a child meet both height and weight requirements before moving to the next car seat. Florida law only uses age as the deciding factor in how a child should be seated.
Unfortunately, age requirements don’t paint a full picture of a child’s growth. In Florida, an underweight child could legally be allowed to ride without a booster seat, but their height and weight would put them at serious risk in the event of an accident. For that reason, parents should consult the car seat manufacturer’s height and weight guidelines before allowing their child to sit without assistance.