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Arizona Car Seat Laws

A Summary of Child Car Seat Laws in Arizona

  • Children under five years old should be secured in the appropriate child restraint system.
  • Parents should rely on American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines when the law has not issued specifics on age, weight or height.
  • Children with age range 5-8 years who have a height of less than 4’9’’ are required to be restrained in a federally approved child restraint system.
  • The state of Arizona does not state the specific requirements for children to legally sit in the front seat.
  • You can be charged with a class six felony for reckless behavior if you leave a child inside a car.

Rear-facing Child Car Seats in Arizona

Arizona law requires children below the age of 5 to be correctly secured in the appropriate child-safety seat. While the state has yet to issue any specific laws for rear-facing seats, parents can use AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) guidelines. AAP recommends infants should ride in a rear-facing seat until they turn 2 years old or exceed the manufacturer’s weight (at least 20 pounds or more) and height limits. The rear-facing car seat must never be placed in the front seat or near an active airbag. To position your child safely in a rear-facing seat, the straps should lie firmly and flat on top of the shoulders.

Forward Facing Car Seat Laws in Arizona

By law, children younger than 5 years should be secured with the appropriate child restraint system. The state does not mention anything to do with infants or when forward-facing seats can be used so it is up to the parent to decide what guidelines to follow. Recommendations from AAP advise parents to graduate their children to a forward-facing car seat once they are at least one year old and weigh 20 pounds or more. The car seat manufacturer’s guidelines can be used to determine whether to place a child in a forward-facing seat or to turn the seat forward in the case of a convertible seat. These types of seats must be secured at the back seat at all times and away from an active airbag.

Booster Seat Laws in Arizona

Before August 2012, the law required only children of age 5 and below to use child-safety seats. However, updates were made and now children with age range 5-8 years who have a height of less than 4’9’’ are required to be restrained in a federally approved child restraint system. Again, Arizona law does not issue weight guidelines for child restraint systems. So as a parent using AAP guidelines or the manufacturer’s weight and height limits may help. Typically, when children reach 40 pounds and are between 4 to 8 years, they can graduate to a booster seat. For a correctly installed booster seat, the belts should have a snug fit across the chest and upper thighs.

When Can a Child Sit in the Front Seat in Arizona?

The state of Arizona does not state the specific requirements for children to legally sit in the front seat. However, AAP and manufacturers recommend that children can use a regular seat belt if they are at least 4’9’’ or taller and are 8 years or older. If a child is 8 years or older, he or she is not required to use a booster seat. However, emphasis is put on the height since manufacturers design seat belts to fit people who are 4’9’’ or taller. In case you realize a car’s seat belt does not fit your child, for the sake of safety you should put them in a booster seat until they are comfortable in a regular seat belt.

Leaving a child In the car in Arizona

While there is no law about leaving a child inside a car, you can still be prosecuted for doing so.  Depending on the situation, you can be charged with a class six felony for reckless behavior. Factors such as interior temperature, availability of air conditioning or the length of time you were gone can weigh heavily on an officer’s decision. We recommend to never leave your child in the car alone, regardless of state.

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