Research has shown time and again that the best way to keep children safe in a car accident is to put them in a booster or car seat. Manufacturers design the safety devices in vehicles to protect adult bodies in a crash. They do not design them to protect smaller bodies, which means children are at serious risk for injuries in an accident even if they are using seatbelts. Illinois recognizes boost and car seats keep kids safe and has created laws requiring you to use them when you travel with children.

The Office of the Illinois Secretary of State explains that there are booster or car seat requirements for children at each age. At the beginning of January 2019, the law changed to include a requirement of a rear-facing car seat for children under the age of two until the child weighs 40 pounds or is over 40 inches tall. After reaching the proper age, weight or height, generally from ages two to four, your child needs to be in a forward-facing car seat that has a harness system.

From ages four to eight, you should put your child in a booster seat. Do keep in mind that you should always follow the height and weight limitations on your car seat. Keeping your child in a car seat as long as possible is the best choice. After age eight, your child needs to be in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to properly use a seatbelt alone. This information is for education and is not legal advice.