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Child Passenger Safety

Child Passenger Safety

Michigan's Child Passenger Safety Law requires:

  • Children younger than age 4 to ride in a car seat in the rear seat (if the vehicle has a rear seat). If all available rear seats are occupied by children under 4, then a child under 4 may ride in a car seat in the front seat. A child in a rear-facing car seat may only ride in the front seat if the airbag is turned off.
  • Children must be properly buckled in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4-feet-9-inches tall. Children must ride in a seat until they reach the age requirement or the height requirement, whichever comes first.


  • It is recommended that children 8 and older be placed in an age- and weight-appropriate child safety seat if the vehicle’s seat belt does not fit properly. All children ages 12 and under ride in a rear seat.
  • Drivers, front-seat passengers regardless of age, and all passengers ages 8 through 15 are required to wear properly adjusted seat belts.
     How to choose the right car seat

Quick Tips:

  1. Properly position the harness on the child.
    • Rear-facing—At or below the child’s shoulders.
    • Forward-facing—At or above the child’s shoulders.
  2. Harness straps should lie flat, not twisted.
  3. The harness should be snug, without slack. It is snug enough when extra material cannot be pinched at the shoulders and hips.
  4. Make sure the chest clip is at armpit level.
  5. Lock your seat belt (see owner’s manual) or use your vehicle’s LATCH system.
  6. Apply pressure to the car seat and tighten the seat belt or lower anchor strap. The seat should not move side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch at the belt path.
  7. The top tether strap should be used with a forward-facing seat (see owner’s manual). Connect it to the tether anchor and tighten.


Video Resources

Harness Fit

Five Step Test

Common Mistakes

Booster Seats