A Summary of Child Car Seat Laws in Delaware
- There are no car seat laws in Delaware that regulate the use forward-facing and rear-facing car seats.
- Parents can follow the car seat manufacturer’s height and weight guidelines if the state car seat law is unclear.
- Children can graduate from a booster seat once they weigh 65 pounds or are older than 7 years.
- Children 12 years or older or with a height of at least 65 inches can legally sit in the front seat.
Rear-facing seat Laws Delaware
The state of Delaware does not specify the requirements needed for children to ride on a rear-facing child-safety seat. However, pediatrics recommend children should ride on rear-facing car seats until age 2 or until the manufacturer’s weight and height limits are exceeded (most seats can support children up to 40 pounds). A child on a rear-facing seat should always face the rear and the harness straps should fit snugly. To maximize safety, the seat should be reclined at an angle of 45-degree angle so that the infant’s head and spine are supported.
Forward-facing seat Delaware
The law does not cover forward-facing seat requirements in Delaware. Nevertheless, a child can graduate to a forward-facing seat once the rear-facing seat limits have been exceeded. Typically, this happens when the child is 2 years or older and weighs between 20 and 40 pounds. This type of seat should be secured at the back seat at all times and away from an active airbag. For economical purposes, parents can use convertible seats which can be turned around once a child is old enough to face the front of the vehicle. Seats with a 5 point harness are highly recommended and must be federally approved. Your child should remain in this seat until he or she is at least 5 years old and weighs 40 pounds or more.
Booster Seat Laws Delaware
Once a child has outgrown the forward-facing seat, he or she can transition to a belt-positioning booster seat. The law requires children to ride on a booster seat until they reach 65 pounds or age 8, whichever comes first. A booster seat raises children so that the car’s inbuilt seat belt fits them properly. The shoulder strap should lie flat across the child’s shoulder and the lap belt should cross the hips while lying low. The booster seat must be fastened in the back seat and must meet the federal motor vehicle safety standards. A child can ride on the booster seat until he or she has a height of 4’9’’ or more or when the car seat manufacturer’s height and weight guidelines are exceeded.
When Can Children Sit in the Front Seat in Delaware?
Delaware car seat laws require children of age range 8-15 years to be properly secured with a regular car seat belt. Additionally, children shorter than 65 inches or younger than 12 years are required to sit in the back seat if the car has an active airbag in the front seat. However, this law does not apply to airbags installed by the manufacturer specifically designed for children or small adults. Also, the airbag must be rendered inoperable in a way that conforms to federal law for it to be considered inactive. Therefore, children 12 years or older or with a height of at least 65 inches can legally sit in the front seat with or without an airbag.
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