What are the car seat laws in Ohio?

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Things to remember...
  • Ohio law requires children younger than one sit in rear-facing seats
  • Children under four must be in a car seat
  • Children younger than 15 must use a 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, boosters, and more.

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 toddler in a car seat that’s been used. You never know if the person who had that car seat prior to you was involved in an accident.

A minor fender bender without any injuries is enough to prevent a car seat from working correctly in a subsequent accident, and it might not keep your child safe. You should always ask about car 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.

Child Safety Seat Requirements in Ohio


Ohio law only requires children younger than four use car seats. Parents must place their newborn babies in rear-facing convertible seats for at least one year.

Children are not legally permitted to turn around in a forward-facing car 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.

When children face forward in a forward-facing car seat, they’re only required to stay in this seat until they reach their fourth birthday and weigh at least 40 pounds.

Some children will sit in a car 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.

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The following are more car seat rules in Ohio:

  • Booster seat laws require children remain in a booster until they are at least eight years old and four feet nine inches tall.
  • The law also touches on seat belt laws. While it’s never a good idea for anyone in any vehicle to go without a seatbelt, the law requires all kids younger than 15 to wear a seat belt.
  • The law also requires children 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 car seats already using all the seat belts in the back, it’s allowed to put a child older than four in the front seat provided they are in the correct booster.

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

Everything You Must Know about Car Seats


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

The law is the law, but the car 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 seat to fit their age and weight. Once your child outgrows the seat because of their size, it’s time to move up to the next size.

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 child in any car seat, but you risk breaking the law if it’s not the correct seat.

Another challenge many parents face is the correct installation of their child’s 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 the professionals. 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.

There’s no reason not to buy your child a car seat. Not only is it against the law to drive with a baby or toddler not strapped inappropriately, it’s 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 baby safe.

Enter your zip code into our free car insurance quote comparison tool below to find the best coverage for your family.

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