When you’re planning a family trip to Connecticut, it’s important that you make sure to follow local (or exceed) the child passenger safety laws.
Official Connecticut Car Seat Laws
You can find the official Connecticut car seat law in Connecticut General Statutes Sec 14-100a
Connecticut Rear-Facing Car Seat Law
Connecticut rear facing car seat law requires children to remain rear facing (either in an infant car seat or a convertible car seat) until at least 2 years old unless they exceed 30lbs.
Rear-facing is significantly safer for children as it dramatically decreases the risk of head and neck injuries. This resource is full of great information.
The current guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics is that children should remain rear-facing to the limits of their convertible car seat. Nearly all convertible car seats today will accommodate kids up to 40 pounds (they have variable height limits so read your manual) – the size of an average 4 year old – rear facing.
CT car seat law requires that kids should continue riding in a harnessed car seat (whether rear-facing or forward-facing) until at least age 5 and 40 pounds. That’s in line with best practice. Make sure your child is mature enough to sit properly for the whole drive before switching to a booster seat in addition to meeting those age and size requirements.
Connecticut Booster Seat Law
Connecticut’s law for booster seats requires children to ride in a booster seat (or harnessed car seat) until they reach 8 years old OR 60lbs. Be sure to follow manufacturer minimum and maximum size requirements for your booster seat – most manufacturers now require a minimum of 4 years old, 40″ tall and 40 pounds.
Most children do not fit properly in an adults seatbelt until 10-12 years old, when they pass the 5-step test. It’s important not to rush out of the booster seat, as adult seatbelts are designed to fit a 165lb man.
When Can Kids Ride In the Front Seat In Connecticut?
Unfortunately there is no Connecticut front seat age minimum. The law only specifies that a rear facing car seat may not be used in the front seat if a passenger airbag is active. However, many car manufacturers specify that kids should not ride in the front until age 13. Here’s an excellent explanation of why.
Upcoming Changes To Connecticut Car Seat Law
Connecticut implemented its 2 year old minimum to forward face back in 2017 and hasn’t made any changes since then, nor are there any pending proposals.
Get the latest from SafeKids CT
If you’ll be flying to Connecticut, be sure to bring one of these travel car seats. If you’re planning a family road trip, consider one of these comfortable convertible car seats or comfortable booster seats. Check more car seat laws by state as you plan your route.