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New CT Car Seat Laws

This post was sponsored by the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Thank you for supporting our sponsors.

car seatAs you may know, earlier this fall, Connecticut’s new car seat law took effect. Many of you may still have questions. Connecticut Children’s Medical Center created this great, step by step video, to help explain exactly what changed about the law and what you need to do to keep your little ones safe.

Connecticut’s New Car Seat Laws at a Glance

Effective October 1, 2017

Rear-Facing Car Seats

Rear-facing car seats must now be used until a child is 2 years old and 30 pounds (previously, CT state law stated a child must be 1 year and 20 pounds).

Make sure the straps are tightened firmly to the child’s body and are positioned at or below shoulder height. The chest clip must be positioned at the center of the chest.

Forward-Facing Car Seats

A child can be turned forward-facing when they are 2 years and 30 pounds. Use a forward-facing, 5-point harness car seat until the child turns 5 years and 40 pounds.

Make sure the straps are tightened firmly to the child’s body and are positioned at or above shoulder height. The chest clip must be positioned at the center of the chest.

Booster Seats

A child may transition to a booster seat when he or she is 5 years and 40 pounds. A booster seat must be used until the child is 8 years and 60 pounds.

A booster seat elevates the child so that the seat belt system fits them as it would an adult. The shoulder strap should be positioned over the chest and shoulder, while the lap position should go over the hips. Neither the shoulder or lap belts should go over any soft tissue, such as the neck or abdomen.

Is your car seat installed correctly?

Visit www.ctsafekids.org for information about car seat safety or to find a car seat fitting station near you.


About Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

As a parent, your number one priority is keeping your child well. As Connecticut’s only free-standing children’s hospital, ours is too. Learn more at www.connecticutchildrens.org.

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6 Responses to New CT Car Seat Laws

  1. DP October 10, 2017 at 7:16 AM #

    What if the child is 3.5 40 lbs about 40″ tall and the shoulders are above the harness straps?

    • Connecticut Children's Medical Center October 11, 2017 at 12:09 PM #

      Great question! Keep a child rear facing for as long as possible. Make sure that the car seat that you are using can hold a child that is 40 lbs and 40″ tall. Check labels of the car seat, or the manual. Reposition the harness to be at or below the shoulders. Per CT state law, once a child is both 2 year old and 30lbs they can transition to a forward facing car seat with a 5-point harness.
      Please visit ctsafekids.org to make an appointment with a local fitting station if you want to make sure that you are using your child’s car seat correctly.

  2. Kelly Murphy October 11, 2017 at 11:54 AM #

    The harness straps on a forward-facing child need to be placed “at or above” the child’s shoulders, not “at or below” as your article states.

  3. Jodi Gerstenhaber October 11, 2017 at 12:09 PM #

    The information is correctly relayed in the video but incorrect in the article. When forward facing, the harness straps should be located at or ABOVE the child’s shoulders.

  4. Connecticut Children's Medical Center October 11, 2017 at 1:52 PM #

    Thanks for your comments! In a REAR-facing car seat, straps must be positioned at or BELOW shoulders. However, in a FORWARD-facing car seat, straps must be positioned at or ABOVE shoulders. Feel free to reach out to our car seat experts at Safe Kids Connecticut (www.ctsafekids.org) with any questions!

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