2012 Brings Changes in Car Seat Law

Children must remain in a booster seat until age 8

Where does your 7-year-old sit in the car? Probably out of a booster seat by now.

Current California law mandates children under 6 and weighing less than 60 pounds have to ride in a booster seat.

Come Jan. 1, that will change, and the change is catching a lot of parents off guard.

Children must remain in a booster seat until age 8.

The new law, going into effect in 2012, states any child under 8 years old or shorter than 4 feet 9 inches must be in a booster seat.

That's the height for which seat belts were designed so children could use a bit of a boost to be in the right position for the belt.

The manager of the Injury Prevention Program at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego said the most common question she hears is, "how do I get my 7-year-old back into a booster seat?"

If taking them shopping for the seat doesn't work, perhaps the fact that CHP fines can add up to $475 may be an incentive.

The biggest incentive, experts said, is the decrease in injuries for children riding in cars.

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