Child Safety Seat Guide

Infant Only Safety Seats

  • For infants up to 1 year old and approximately 20-22 pounds and 26 inches long
  • Always use rear facing seats in the vehicle
  • Never place safety seats in front of an airbag

Convertible Child Safety Seats

  • For infants: semi-recline and face rear of vehicle up to approximately 30 pounds
  • Rear face to at least 1 year and 20 pounds; longer if possible
  • Never place in front of an airbag
  • For toddlers: upright and face forward
  • Check to see that the vehicle safety belt is in the right place and harness positioned correctly

Forward Facing Only Child Safety Seats

  • Allow tall children to remain in harness longer
  • Most convert to a belt positioning booster
  • Upper weight and height limits vary by manufacturer
  • Always read the manufacturer's instructions to determine weight limits with and without the harness

Infant Seat
Convertible Seat

Belt Positioning Booster Seats

  • For children up to 4 years and 40 pounds
  • For children who have outgrown child safety seats with harnesses
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions for use with lap/shoulder belt
  • A belt-positioning booster seat cannot be used with a lap only belt, it must have the shoulder belt as well
Booster Seat

Indiana's Child Restraint Law

  • Children under age 8 must be in child restraints that meet current federal safety standards
  • Children from age 8 up to 16 must use a child restraint or a vehicle safety belt
  • This law applies to all seating positions in all vehicles including cars, vans, trucks, and Sport utility Vehicles (SUVs)
  • Anyone who drives children is responsible for them being properly restrained
  • If children 16 and up are not properly buckled up, the driver can be fined $25, for younger children the fine can be much higher


  • The use of aftermarket products (items that do not come with the child safety seat but can be used with it) is not recommended because those items have not been properly crash tested with the child safety seats - These items can include head rings, padding, clips and more. If the item came with the seat then it is okay to use
  • Loose articles such as toys, suitcases, etc. should not be stored in the passenger compartment of a vehicle as these can become projectiles in a crash
  • Children come in all shapes and sizes, sometimes a child will not seem to fit into any of these situations (These can be evaluated on an individual basis, but you should contact our office for information on which guidelines to follow)
Always read the manufacturer's instructions. The back seat is the safest place to ride!

Information on this page is provided by the Automotive Safety Program, supported by the Governor's Council on Impaired and Dangerous Driving, Office of Traffic Safety.