New law shifts child safety seat requirement to age five

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- There are important guidelines to follow when dealing with child safety in a car and emergency officials say three years old was just too young for kids to transition to seat belts.

By now you know it's important for kids to be in child safety seats like this one. What you may not know is in Florida, they were only required to ride in one up to age three. A new law Governor Rick Scott signed raises that age to four and five.

That's good news for Amy Mckee. She kept her kids in safety seats even older than that.

"I think it's great to keep the kids in the seats," McKee said.

"Even though the booster seat's maybe not as comfortable as a regular car seat, yes I feel that it's much safer."

Leon County EMS holds demonstrations on proper use of child safety seats and gives them away for free.

"We have nearly maybe one in five children that are riding around and not put in their car seat correctly," said Captain Sally Davis, Leon County EMS.

Here are some important recommendations from

  • Kids from birth to 3-years-old should be in rear-facing car seats.
  • From two to 7-years-old they should be in forward-facing seats.
  • Between ages four and 12 sit in booster seats
  • And, graduate to seat belts around the ages of eight to 13.

It's important for parents, guardians and friends to not just know the new rules, but also the best option for safety.

"Know the car seat, read the manual. Know which each seat's height and weight levels are," David said.

"And, I keep them always in the back seat until they are teenagers," McKee added.

Even though the law stops at five years old, emergency officials say kids aren't ready for seat belts until they are 4 feet nine inches which is around the ages of 8 to 12.

Here are links to more information:‚Äč


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