Putting your children in the right car seat, the right way, and at the right time is the best way to save them from potentially serious injuries if you’re involved in an accident.
Not using a child restraint system can not only cause bodily injuries, it also has a monetary side too. In Florida, $3.16 billion is lost each year because of car accidents. These losses are preventable by following laws and regulations.
Florida Car Seat Law
Florida laws are very clear when it comes to child passenger safety requirements. The law states:
“Every operator of a motor vehicle as defined in this section, while transporting a child in a motor vehicle operated on the roadways, streets, or highways of this state, shall, if the child is 5 years of age or younger, provide for protection of the child by properly using a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device.” (Source)
There is a penalty of $60 for violating this law.
Florida infant/toddler Car Seat Law
The law in Florida says that all children under the age of 5 must use a proper car seat based on their age. Because it is not clear in law what kind of seat you should use for the child, you can refer to the manual by the seat manufacturer.
Florida Rear-facing Car Seat Law
There is no age mention in the Florida law for rear-facing car seats. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the best car seat is that fits your child perfectly. Keeping that in mind, we can refer to American Academy of Pediatrics who says “Fortunately, car seat manufacturers have created seats that allow children to remain rear-facing until they weigh 40 pounds or more, which means most children can remain rear-facing past their second birthday,”
Child Booster Seat Laws in Florida
According to law, children of 4 to 5 years age requires booster seats. However, this is not recommended by child safety experts. Your child should be using the forward-facing seat at this age group. You can go through a federally approved child seat’s manual to understand the safety and risk involved.
When Can My Child Sit in the Front Seat in Florida?
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, children should be in the rear seats until at least age 12, since deployed front seat air bags can be dangerous to children.
Leaving Child in Car Law in Florida
Florida laws do not allow parents to leave their children in the car alone for more than 15 minutes if the car is turned off. If it’s on, you can’t leave a child unattended at all.
Is it Illegal to Smoke in a Car with a Child in Florida?
It’s not illegal to smoke in a car with a minor present.
Taxi Car Seat Law in Florida
Taxis are exempt from child passenger laws in Florida. It’s the responsibility of the parents to keep the children safe by using a proper system. The law is very clear:
“(6) The child restraint requirements imposed by this section do not apply to a chauffeur-driven taxi, limousine, sedan, van, bus, motor coach, or other passenger vehicle if the operator and the motor vehicle are hired and used for the transportation of persons for compensation.”
Florida Law Car Seat - Replacement After Accident
Florida doesn’t have any law in place regarding car seats that have been in a crash. You can always refer to the recommendation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Places to Get Car Seat Help in Florida
Good Car Seat Safety Videos for Florida Parents
Installing a Forward-Facing Child Car
How to Install a Car Seat
Car Seat Installation and Use
General Safety Tips for Car Seats
Installing a Car Seat Properly
Resources for More Info on Florida Car Seat Safety
With two kids of my own, I’m passionate about child safety! I’m a research nerd who’s on a mission to make the world a safer place for kids – starting with car seats!
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