Child Passenger Restraints 

M.G.L. Chapter 90, Section 7AA

Effective July 1st, 2008:   No child under age eight and measuring less than fifty-seven inches in height shall ride as a passenger in a motor vehicle on any way unless such child is properly fastened and secured, according to the manufacturer instructions, by a child passenger restraint.

No child who is eight years of age or older, but not older than twelve, shall ride as a passenger in a motor vehicle on any way unless such child is wearing a safety belt which is properly adjusted and fastened according to the manufacturer instructions.

*For complete definition of M.G.L. Chapter 90 Sec 7AA, click here

 

Growing Up Safe

As children grow, how they sit in your vehicle should change.  Save your child from injury or death by observing the following four steps: 

1) Rear-Facing: For the best possible protection keep infants in the back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats as long as possible, up to the height or weight limit of the particular seat. It is recommended that children remain rear-facing until the age of two (click here for more) info or to the weight limit of the child safety seat.

2) Forward-Facing: When children outgrow their rear-facing seats they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in the back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the particular seat.

3) Booster Seats: Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats they should ride in booster seats, in the back seat, until the vehicle seat belt fits properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest.

4) Seat Belts: When children outgrow their booster seats, they can use the adult seat belt in the back seat, if it fits properly.

*Remember: All children under the age 13 should ride in the back seat. Click here for more info.

 

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LATCH” or Lower Anchors and Tether for Children.

Is LATCH safer than using the seatbelts for installation

  • Not necessarily. A car-seat properly installed with a seatbelt should be as safe as one properly installed with LATCH, but LATCH will make it easier to get a proper installation.

Can I use both LATCH and the seatbelt?

  • Only one or the other is needed, you should generally use the one that provides the best fit. 

Can I still use a LATCH car-seat in a car that does not have LATCH?

  • Yes.  All new car-seat models are compatible with seatbelt installations.

 

For correct installation and use of all child safety seats, always follow your vehicle owner’s manual and child safety seat manufacturer’s instructions.