Car Seat Safety

Here are some basic guidelines regarding the use of car-seats and booster seats for children. Remember: All kids belong in the backseat, at least until age 13!

  • Age guidelines: Birth - 4 years old, depending on your child’s size!
  • Rear-facing: used until 30-35 pounds, depending on car-seat.
    • Age guidelines: Birth to 1 or 2 years, depending on child and car-seat
    • Types of rear-facing car-seats: Infants only and convertible to forward-facing
  • Forward-facing: 30/35 to 40 pounds, depending on car-seat.
  • Age Guidelines: 3 to 4 years old
    • Types of forward-facing car seats: Convertible from rear-facing and combination car-seat/booster seat
Car-seat inspections are available, by appointment, at the Arcata Police Department.

  • All booster-seats: 40-80 pounds
  • Age guidelines: At least 3 years old to about 10 years old
  • Use: Use with lap-shoulder belt only
  • Remove harness straps if present (on combination models)
Seat Belts
Before moving your child from a booster-seat to seat belts only, you must be able to answer "yes" to each of the following questions:
  • Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
  • Do the child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
  • Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
  • Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
  • Can child stay seated like this for the whole trip?
Additional Information
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration website offers more information on child passenger safety.

Never leave children alone in or around vehicle - not even for a minute!
  • The temperature inside a car can reach deadly levels in minutes.
  • Children can set the vehicle in motion.
  • Drivers have difficulty seeing small children when they back up.
  • The child might leave the vehicle to go look for you.
  • Your child can be abducted.