OLYMPIA, WA - Governor Jay Inslee has signed new regulations on car seats and booster seats into law.
UW Medicine reports that under the new law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2020, kids younger than 2 must use rear-facing car seats. They should remain in rear-facing seats for as long as possible, or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the seat.
Kids between 2 and 4 years old should use a forward-facing, age-appropriate child harness seat and use it for as long as possible. Many seats can accommodate children up to 65 lbs.
Children older than 4 but shorter than 4'9" who've outgrown the harness seat must use booster seats. Most kids will need a booster seat until 10 to 12 years old.
When children are old enough and large enough to use the vehicle seat belt alone, they should use lap and shoulder seat belts for optimal protection.
Drivers can still be ticketed if a passenger younger than 16 is not using the correct car seat, booster seat or seat belt based on age, height and weight.