- Infants and toddlers should sit in a rear-facing carseat until 2 years of age, or until the child has reached the maximum height and weight allowed by the carseat. Often, children 6-12 months will need to graduate to a bigger rear-facing or "convertible" car seat.
- Children 2 years and older (and those under 2 years who have out-grown the height and weight limits of their carseat) should sit in a forward facing car seat.
- California law states that once a child is 4 years old AND weighs at least 40 pounds he or she can move to a booster seat. AAP recommendations is for children who have outgrown the weight and height limitations of their car seats to move to a booster seat.
- California law states that once a child is 8 years old OR stands 4 feet 9 inches tall, he or she can ride in a vehicle without a booster seat. It is recommended that all children ride on a booster seat until they reach a height of 4 feet and 9 inches (usually between 8-12 years of age).
- Older children should use a lap and shoulder seat belt and remain in the back seat of the car until 13 years of age.
For more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics, read the Car Safety Guidlines from 2011.