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Ensuring protection for yourself while operating a vehicle is usually a top priority – buckle your seat belt, look before merging, etc. But what about the others in the car with you, like children? Each state has very specific laws about car seat safety in regards to children. Let’s take a look to better protect the little ones you love.

buckle up its the law sign car seat safety


It is encouraged to keep an infant rear-facing for as long as possible. Legally, those under a year old and less than 20 pounds have to be rear-facing. Once your baby reaches a year old and 20 lbs. you may opt for a front-facing seat using an internal harness. Harness straps should be secure and snug at the armpit level.

Indiana State Police suggest keeping your child in a front-facing seat with harness until they reach 40 lbs. Then, your young one can graduate to a booster seat until the age of eight, as long as they meet certain weight requirements.


In Kentucky, car seat safety laws are similar to Indiana. Infants must remain in a rear-facing seat until the age of one or upon reaching the weight of 20 lbs. When your child reaches 40 lbs. or the age of 4, they may move up to a booster seat.

Once they turn 8, or becomes over the height of 57 inches, they may get rid of the booster seat and only use a seat belt. It is important to enforce seat belt safety with your children. It can be the difference between life or death.


In Illinois, infants and toddlers under the age of 2 must be secured into a rear-facing car seat. However, if they are 40 lbs. and 40 inches they may advance to a front-facing seat with a harness. Once the height and weight requirements for the manufacturer is met, children may move on to a booster seat.

Booster seats in Illinois are recommended for children ages 7-12. You might be thinking 12 seems a little too old, but this suggestion is due to the fact that some 12-year-olds might not have grown enough to safely fit into an adult seat belt.

Following these car seat safety laws can be vital to the safety of your children or other little loved ones you may be transporting. While you may be a safe driver, that can’t be said for everyone on the road. Taking these laws seriously and ensuring the protection of young children is extremely important.

Gerling Law is a leading personal injury law firm dedicated to providing aggressive legal representation to individuals and their families.  With over 50 years of experience, Gerling Law has helped thousands of people in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in a wide variety of personal injury and consumer protection cases, including trucking accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and social security disability. Gerling Law takes pride in the fact that we have never represented insurance companies, hospitals or large corporations and that we fight against powerful companies for our clients.

If you need an experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyer, Gerling Law is here to help.  You can always reach us at 888-GERLING (888-437-5464) or through our website at https://www.gerlinglaw.com/

Author Photo

Gayle Gerling Pettinga

Born and raised in Evansville, Gayle is a respected, experienced lawyer and a valued community leader. She graduated near the top of her class at Indiana University’s prestigious Maurer School of Law. She’s practiced law with one of the largest firms in Indianapolis as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. And that means she knows how big law firms and big companies think and how they operate – and she will put that knowledge to work for you.

Gayle has received numerous awards and honors including Martindale-Hubbell — Peer Review Rated: AV®, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys in Indiana for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service, and YWCA Evansville 100 Years, 100 Women Honoree, 2011.

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