According to Washington State Law, until children are 8yrs old or 4’9, children must be secured in a restraint system which complies with United States Department of Transportation Standards and must be secured in the vehicle in accordance with both the instructions of the vehicle manufacturer and car seat manufacturer.
The leading cause of death to children in Washington is traffic accidents, and in over 50% of these deaths the child was not properly restrained. Click here for a list of this year’s top rated Rear-Facing Car Seats.
Washington State is home to incredible forests, awe-inspiring mountains, and one of the nation’s finest cities: Seattle. All parents driving through this incredible state with children should take a few moments to read through this brief article on Washington’s child safety seat laws. We’ll supply you with all the info you need as well as a few helpful URLs to help you get a firm grasp on the Evergreen State’s safety laws.
Car Seat Laws
- According to the NHTSA, all children under the age of 1 must be in a rear facing car seat.
- Children under the age of 2 are drastically safer in a Rear-Facing Car Seat. In fact, children 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.
- Forward facing car seats: Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer.
- Booster seats: After the child has outgrown the forward facing car seath they graduate to a booster seat. Children under the age of eight who are also below four feet nine inches tall must be in an appropriate safety seat restraint for their height and weight.
- If a child is under eight but is taller than four feet nine inches, then they can legally wear the car’s safety belt in the back seat.
- All children under the age of 13 must be securely fastened in the car’s back seat. (RCW 46.61.687)
- No person may operate a motor vehicle unless all children passengers under the age 16 are either wearing a safety belt or are securely fastened in an approved child restraint device. – Washington’s Seat Belt Law (RCW 46.61.688)
Washington’s seat belt laws took affect on January 12, 2002. Since then, they have come a long ways but, for example, the American Academy of Pediatrics offers scientific evidence that children are 500% safer in a rear facing car seat until they outgrow it.
- The top rated Rear-Facing Car Seats
- Washington Traffic Safety Commission – Educate Adults about Child Passenger Safety
- Spokane Free Car Seat Safety Check by Providence Health
- Seattle Children’s Hospital – Free insptections
- NHTSA’s page for free inspection locations
- Washington State’s official child safety seat law (RCW 46.61.687)