Today the Governor of Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee, signed a new law regarding car seats and boosters for children. This law will go into effect on January 1 of 2020. Local Physicians advocated for these changes to encourage and educate the public on improving best practices to protect our youngest passengers.

Important points:

  • Children under age 2 must use rear-facing car seats. Children should remain in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their seat.
  • Children ages 2 to at least 4 years should use a forward-facing, age-appropriate child harness seat – and do so  as long as possible, until they reach the seat’s height and weight limits. Many seats can accommodate children up to 65 pounds.
  • Children older than 4 but shorter than 4’9” who have outgrown the child harness seat must use booster seats.  Most kids will need a booster seat until 10 to 12 years of age.
  • When children are old enough and large enough to use the vehicle seat belt alone, they should use lap and shoulder seat belts for optimal protection.

If you want to learn more:

  1.  University of Washington Article on Physician Support for the Changes
  2.  Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center
  3. KING 5 Coverage