Car Seat Law - Resources for Early Care and Education Staff and Families

Pennsylvania passed new legislation requiring all children up to the age of two to be in a rear-facing car seat. This new requirement is effective August 12, 2016. This law protects children from injury and death while traveling in motor vehicles. Be sure to follow this requirement if you are transporting children. Share this information with families.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all infants and toddlers ride in a rear-facing car seat until they are 2 years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer. Rear-facing seats have a maximum weight ranging from 30- 50 pounds. The safest position for a child under age two is rear-facing.
Why is a rear-facing position important?
• A rear-facing car seat supports the head, neck and spine of infants and toddlers in a crash. This distributes the crash force over the entire body.
• Children younger than age 2 are 75 % less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash if they are rear-facing.
• Children ages 12-23 months of age were over 5 times as likely to be injured when forward-facing compared to children of the same age secured rear-facing.
Contact the PA Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics, Traffic Injury Prevention Project with questions about car seats, car seat installation and meeting this requirement at: 800/CAR BELT or The website has core messages, talking points, and more details about the law and fines. Share this information with staff and families: PA Rear Facing Car Seat Requirement

Also see the ECELS Self-Learning Module, "Transporting Children Safely," for more information, videos and a model transportation policy.  8/2016