When you’re planning a family trip to Kansas, it’s important that you make sure to follow local (or exceed) the child passenger safety laws.
Official Kansas Car Seat Laws
You can find the official Kansas car seat law in KSA 8-1343.
Kansas Rear-Facing Car Seat Law
KS car seat law does not specify how long children must be rear facing. At a minimum, parents are required to follow the guidelines set forth by the manufacturer of their specific car seat (referred to as “proper use”).
Some manufacturers permit children to forward face as young as 1 year as long as they weigh at least 22 pounds, while other manufacturers require toddlers to be at least 2 years old to forward face. Kansas public safety officials encourage children to remain rear facing to the manufacturer’s limits.
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.
Though it’s not specified by the law, research indicates that kids should continue riding in a harnessed car seat (whether rear-facing or forward-facing) until at least age 5, 40 pounds and mature enough to sit properly for the whole drive.
Kansas Booster Seat Law
Booster seat laws in Kansas apply to kids until they reach 4’9″ AND 80lbs or are 8 years old. 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 Kansas?
There’s no law in Kansas on when kids can ride in the front seat, but 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 KS Car Seat Laws
Kansas child car seat laws were updated in 2019, but unfortunately they don’t reflect our current understanding of how to keep kids safe in the car.
Get the latest from the Kansas Highway Patrol
If you’ll be flying to Kansas, 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.