What are the car seat laws in Ohio?

OH requires children to be eight-years-old and 4'9" before they can use an adult seat belt. Fines range from $25 to $75 for each offense.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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What are the Ohio Child Seat Laws?

Things to remember...

  • Ohio law requires children younger than one sit in rear-facing seats
  • Ohio car insurance companies take these  safety measures seriously
  • Children under four must be in a car seat
  • Children younger than 15 must use a child seat belt

Drivers in Ohio know they must do whatever they can to protect children in their vehicles, but they don’t always know what the law entails.

With so many different options to choose from, it’s not always easy to understand which child safety seats are the right seats for a specific child. There are convertible car seats, forward-facing car seats, booster seats , and more.

Booster seats allow the shoulder belt to lay over the strongest parts of the body, and also the lap belt to lay across the child’s upper hips and thighs.

Parents must understand the legal requirements for their children, and they also want to know what happens if they are involved in an accident.

It’s never recommended you place your baby or toddlers in a safety seat that’s been used. You never know if the person who had that safety seat prior to you was involved in an accident.

A minor fender bender without any injuries is enough to prevent a safety seat from working correctly in a subsequent accident, and it might be safe. You should always ask about safety seat replacement insurance when shopping for your car insurance policy.

If your company doesn’t offer it, it’s time to compare rates with other companies. Enter your ZIP code above to compare rates right now.

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What are the Child Restraint Seat Requirements in Ohio?

Ohio law only requires kids younger than four to use safety seats that meet the federal motor vehicle safety standards. Parents must place their newborn babies in rear-facing convertible seats for at least one year.

Babies are not legally permitted to turn around in a forward-facing safety seat until they reach their first birthday and weigh at least 20 pounds.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents keep their children facing the rear until they are at least two, but Ohio law doesn’t mandate this recommendation.

They are only required to stay in a forward-facing safety seat until they reach their fourth birthday and weigh at least 40 pounds.

Some children will sit in a car or booster seat longer than others due to their size, and others will stay in their seats longer simply because their parents want them to remain as safe as possible. However, if a child has outgrown a car seat, but is still under the height and weight limits for adult seat belts, they should ride in a booster seat.

Additionally, children aged 8-15 need to use a child safety seat or safety belt.

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The following are more car seat rules in Ohio:

  • Booster seat laws require kids to remain in a booster seat until they are at least eight years old and four feet nine inches in height.
  • The Ohio law also touches on seat belt laws. While it’s never a good idea for anyone in any vehicle to go without a seatbelt or proper restraint, the law requires all kids younger than 15 to wear a seat belt.
  • The law also requires kids younger than 13 remain in the back seat of any moving vehicle.

If you drive a vehicle without a back seat or you have too many kids in safety seats already using all the seat belts in the back, it’s allowed to put a kid older than four in the front seat provided they are in the correct booster seat.

You must also turn off the airbag in the passenger seat if you do this. The law is designed to keep kids safe in the car.

Studies show that the use of a booster seat reduces the risk of injury  in motor vehicle crashes by almost 60%. (ohiotiger.com)

What are the Ohio car seat laws?

Ohio car seat laws are, in a nutshell:

  • All children below one year of age must be in a forward facing car seat.
  • Children between one year and four years of age must be in a car seat, but it can be rear facing.

What is the booster seat law in Ohio?

The booster seat law in Ohio is similar to laws around the country. Ohio booster seat laws require all children between ages four and eight to use a booster seat.  Remember that Ohio child seat laws require all kids to be in car seats until age four and all children below age one to be in forward-facing car seats.

Booster seat requirements in ohio remain in effect beyond age eight if the child is not yet four feet nine inches tall.

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What are the Ohio rear facing car seat laws?

The Ohio rear facing car seat laws make it illegal for children to be in rear facing car seats until they are at least one year old. Car seats must be forward facing for all children from birth to their first birthday.

What You Must Know about Car Seats

There are challenges for some parents pertaining to kids’ safety seat laws. The biggest challenge is no two seats are the same, and it’s easy to become confused.

The law is the law, but the safety seat industry does make things a little more challenging with the number of options available to parents. The best thing you can do is research car seats.

You need your child’s safety seat to fit their age and weight. Once your child outgrows the restraint because of their size, it’s time to move up to the next size or a booster seat. However, you should know that seat belt fit is different from one car to another.

It’s always wise to read the car seat information on the box or in the description before buying it or ordering it. You can put your kid in any car seat, but you risk breaking the law if it’s not the correct safety seat.

Another challenge many parents face is the correct installation of their child restraint car seat. It’s not always easy for new parents to figure it out, and many are overwhelmed with the installation process.

Do your best to install the car seat in your car prior to the birth of your new baby, and then bring your car to any Ohio police department or fire station to have the seat checked.

Law enforcement officials are trained to properly install car seats of all sizes, and they can help you fix the mistakes you’ve made as well as educate you regarding the proper manner of installation.

Even if you’re fairly confident you installed the seat well on your own, it’s helpful to have it checked by professionals. However, first, check the instructions and owner’s manual. Your baby’s life is worth taking time to check on your installation.

Your car seat is important, and that’s why most Ohio insurance companies offer replacement value in their comprehensive coverage plans. Ask about this when you’re comparing rates and looking for a new plan.

You need to know you can afford a new car seat if anything happens to yours so you can keep your baby safe.

Replace any child safety seat that is broken, is missing pieces or that has reached the manufacturer expiration date.

There’s no reason not to buy your kid a car seat. Not only is it against the law to drive with a baby or toddler not restrained appropriately, but it’s also dangerous.

Car seats can be purchased almost anywhere baby items are sold, and they do come in many price ranges. Pick a budget, and then pick a seat that keeps your children safe until they are old enough to fit regular seat belts.

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