Wisconsin, like most states, has laws that require children of certain ages to be in specific kinds of car seats while riding in motor vehicles on Wisconsin roads. Whether you are a Wisconsin resident or a visitor, you need to know the laws and comply with them.
The Wisconsin Car Seat Requirements by Age
As of October 2015:
- Children under the age of one. In Wisconsin, children under one year old or weighing less than 20 pounds must be in a rear-facing child seat in the back seat of the car.
- Children aged one to three. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children stay rear-facing until they are at least two years old or reach the height and weight limit for their seats. After that, children under the age of three should be in forward-facing car seats in the back seat of the car. In Wisconsin, children who are between the ages of one and three and who weigh 21 to 40 pounds may be in a rear-facing or forward-facing car seat.
- Children aged four to seven. Children who weigh less than 40 pounds should remain in a forward-facing car seat. Children who are at least age four and 40 pounds may be in a forward-facing car seat or a booster seat with a seatbelt.
- Children aged eight to twelve. Children should remain in a booster seat until they are at least 80 pounds in weight and 57 inches (4 feet, 9 inches) tall. After that, they may sit in the back seat with a seatbelt. It is recommended that children ride in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old. A child booster seat is a child passenger restraint system that meets the federal standards and is designed to elevate the child from the vehicle seat to allow the safety belt (lap and shoulder) to be properly positioned over the child’s body.
You may be a safe driver, but the other drivers on Wisconsin roads could put your child at risk of serious injury or death. When used correctly, car seats significantly reduce the chances of a child being hurt or killed in a car accident.
Using a proper car seat or booster is not just a good idea…it’s the law in Wisconsin. If you have any questions about what kind of car seat your child should be in, please ask your child’s doctor or your local police department.