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Child Safety Seats

In July of 2006, Wisconsin Act 106 changed the requirements for the use of child passenger safety seats in Wisconsin. The new act, nicknamed the “Booster Seat Law” requires children to be in a booster seat until they are either 8 years old or 80 pounds, or 57 inches tall. According to Wisconsin’s law, if your child exceeds one of the criteria, they do not have to be in a booster seat.

The law also eliminated the “personal needs” exemption that allowed the child to be removed from the child restraint while the vehicle is moving for their personal needs, such as feeding or diapering. The child must always be in the child safety seat while the vehicle in is motion.

Some tips for parents:

  • Always place child in a child passenger safety seat until they are able to use a vehicle lap/shoulder belt properly
  • Always place the child in the back seat (unless there is no back seat)
  • Never place the child in front of a vehicle air bag. Keep children rear facing, in the back seat, until they are 1 year old AND 20 lbs.
  • Parents should always wear their seatbelts to show an example for the children

Wisconsin Safety Belt and Child Safety Belt Laws

Rear-facing child safety seat in the back seat* is required when the child:
  • Is less than 1 year old or weighs less than 20 pounds

Forward-facing child safety seat in the back seat* is required when the child:
  • Is at least 1 year old but less that 4 years old, weighs at least 20 pounds but less than 40 pounds

Booster seat is required when the child:
  • Is at least 4 years old but less than 8 years old, weighs at least 40 pounds but less than 80 pounds and is not 57 inches (4-feet, 9-inches) or taller

Safety belt is required when the person:
  • Is at least 8 years old or older or weighs 80 or more pounds or is 57 inches or taller

* Child Safety seat must be in the back seat if the vehicle is equipped with a back seat.

These apply to all vehicles 1972 or newer.
Car seat check

Web page links:
Link to Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation web site with links to Act 106
Wisconsin Child Passenger Safety Association
National Safe Kids Organization