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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Booster Seat Booster Lesson

Our patients often ask, what's the Michigan law on booster seats?


As of July 1, 2008, that law changed.  Under the old law, all children under 4 were required to ride in an infant or child car seat.  Under the new law, all children who are under 8, or less than 4' 9" tall, have to be "properly" secured.  So the new rules, as set up by the National Highway Traffic Administration, together with the State of Michigan, say this:


  • Infants under 1 year old, and up to around 20 pounds, must use rear-facing car seats, placed in the car's back seat.
  • Children from ages 1-4, weighing roughly 20-40 pounds, must use front-facing car seats, also placed in the car's back seat.
  • Children from ages 4-8, who are less than 4' 9" tall, must use either booster seats—no-back or high-back—or child safety seats with harness straps, again in the car's back seat.  No-back boosters are recommended for seats with head rests, and high-back boosters for seats without head rests; both must be secured with BOTH lap and shoulder belts.
  • Children 8-12 must use safety belts, and should ride in the back seat.


All safety systems must be used in accordance with both the seat manufacturer's and car manufacturer's standards.  Noncompliant drivers can be fined $25, for a civil infraction. 


Booster Seat Law (pdf document)

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on child passenger safety


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