If you have a young child, it is essential to understand how to safely transport him or her in your vehicle using the proper child restraint system. There are specific laws in place to ensure your child is safe according to child safety guidelines. These laws come from research and studies into child safety in vehicles. They are specific for a reason. The bottom line is following the law helps to keep your child safe if you are in an accident.
The Louisiana State Police states your child needs to be in some type of child safety seat until he or she is six years old and weighs over 60 pounds. Weight is more important than age, so always follow weight guidelines. Do note that you can use an infant, convertible or combination seat. However, you need to follow the manufacturer's weight limits to find the correct type of seat.
From birth to age one or if your child weighs under 20 pounds, he or she needs to be in a rear-facing car seat. If your child is between 20 and 40 pounds and between the ages of one and four, he or she can be in a forward-facing child seat. When your child reaches between 40 and 60 pounds, around ages four to six, you can put him or her in a booster seat. Keep your child in the booster seat until he or she reaches 60 pounds.
While it is not a law, you should keep your children in the backseat for as long as possible. Never put a car seat in the front seat in a vehicle that has air bags. Air bags can pose a serious safety risk to your child. This information is for education and is not legal advice.