East Pierce Fire & Rescue 19

Is Your Child in the Right Car Seat?

To keep our kiddos safer, WA State’s child restraint law requires a child to remain rear-facing until two years; be in a harnessed seat until four years; and use a booster seat until the adult seatbelt system fits properly, which is generally between 8-12 years old or 4’9″ tall.

Don’t worry; adults under 4’9″ are not required to ride in a booster seat! The law focuses on children under the age of 13. Restraining and protecting a child’s body in a crash is much different than that of an adult.

Many parents are concerned for their child’s safety if their feet touch the back of the vehicle seat when in a rear-facing car seat. Rest assured, there are ZERO documented cases of a rear-facing child breaking their legs, hips, or feet due to their feet touching the vehicle seat.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children remain in each state of protection for as long as possible. Each transition reduces the protection of the child.
Not sure if your child is in an appropriate seat or if the seat is installed correctly? We can help! EPFR’s certified child passenger safety technicians provide free car seat inspections for fire district residents. Call 253-863-1800 (option 4) to schedule an appointment.

To learn more about WA’s child restraint law, visit

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