Car Seat Recommendations

As a parent, it is your job to protect your child when riding in a vehicle. Using car seats properly helps keep children safe. But with so many different types of car seats on the market, understanding how to use them correctly can be overwhelming for parents.

What is the law?

  • Child Occupant Protection Law  RSA 265:107-a  Effective January 1, 2014 All children under age 7 or 57 inches (whichever is reached first) must use a properly fastened and secured child safety seat. Children under age 18 must be properly restrained in a motor vehicle including a car, pickup truck or SUV.*

*Note: this is the law, but it is recommended that children continue to use a booster seat until 57 inches for safety.

Is my child ready to use a booster with a shoulder belt (changing from 5-point harness)?

  • A shoulder belt is not "less safe" than the 5-point harness, if the passenger is sitting corretly in the seat 100% of the time. Most kids are not mature enough to sit properly untill at least 5-6 years old.  Always review the height and weight guidelines of your forward facing seat with 5-point harness, and the belt positioning booster seat that you wil be using next. Read more about moving to the next stage at The Four Stages of Care Seat Safety at Car Seats for the Littles.

Does my child still need a booster?

  • In most vehicles, children will need a booster to be properly positioned with the seatbelt (shoulder belt) unti they are 57 inches. See if your child passes the "5 Step Test."

Can my child sit in the front seat?

  • Children should sit in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old.

The 4 Stages of Seat Safety, Installation Guides, and FAQ's!

Child Passenger Safety at Dartmouth Health Children's 

Tips for installing a child safety seat properly

How do I get my child's safety seat checked?  Contact a Child Passenger Safety Inspection Station to schedule an appointment.