Car Seat Safety Weight Requirements

By Larry Amon

Picking a child safety seat is, obviously, important for the safety of a child. All 50 states in the U.S. have laws regulating the use of safety seats. Having a child in the wrong seat for her weight can mean a child won't be protected in an accident. There are some basic guidelines to follow when selecting the car seat type for your child.

Infant Seats

Car safety seats that face backward in a car are recommended for children up to 20 lbs.

Toddler Seats

Safety seats that face forward are recommended for toddlers after their first birthday and if they weigh a minimum of 20 lbs. It is recommended, however, that toddlers remain facing backward as long as possible because it is the safest position while they still fit properly in the seat in this manner.

Booster Seats

Booster seats are not recommended until the child reaches about 40 lbs. It is recommended that children stay in a booster seat until they are 4 foot 9 inches tall, at which time a regular seat belt will fit them properly.

Safety Belts

Once a child is 4 foot 9 inches tall and about 80 lbs. it is recommended that they stop using the booster seat, and start using a regular safety belt.


Laws very state-by-state on when a child has to be in a safety seat. The height and weight range for the seat itself should always be followed.

About the Author

Larry Amon has been working in the computer field for more than 10 years and has experience writing scripts, instructional articles and political commentary. He has been published online, as well as in "NRB Magazine" and "Delmarva Youth & Family." He started a nonprofit media organization in 2000.