Make sure your child
is riding safely!
Car seats, booster seats and seat belts are the law in Wisconsin. Still, only 1 in 10 car seats is used correctly. Car seat information is easy to find, but often it’s
hard for parents and caregivers to decide which seat is best for their child. This resource can help to answer common questions about transporting children safely.
What is required?
The Wisconsin child passenger safety law states the minimum required. Most pediatricians and injury prevention professionals recommend more than the
minimum to protect children in a crash. This is called “best practice.”
Type of seat
Rear-facing car seat
Wisconsin law
Children must be rear-facing in a car seat until age 1
and 20 pounds.
harness seat
Once a child is in a forward-facing car seat, he or she
must remain in a harness until age 4 and 40 pounds.
Booster seat
A booster seat is required once a child has graduated
from a forward-facing harness seat, until the child
reaches one of the following: 8 years old or 80
pounds or 4 feet and 9 inches tall.
A seat belt is required once a child has outgrown the requirements of a booster seat. Always use a lap and shoulder belt
instead of a lap belt only.
If there is a back seat, children 4 and younger need
Children 12 and younger should sit in the back seat.
to be restrained appropriately in the back seat.
Seat belt
Back seat
Best practice
American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children stay rear-facing
until at least age 2 or longer if they are still within the weight and height
restrictions of their rear-facing seat.
Some seats have harness weights up to 50-80 lbs., allowing children to
stay in a harness longer. Children are much better protected when
restrained in a harness.
Children should stay in a booster seat until they are tall enough to sit
on the vehicle seat without slouching and the seat belt fits snugly
across the hips, chest and shoulder. This is usually 4’9”.
For more information about having your child’s car seat checked,
call the North Shore Health Department at 414-371-2980
or visit to schedule a car seat appointment.
Check out these resources: • • •
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