Understanding the Ohio Car Seat Law For Rear Facing Seat

This article reflects the Ohio car seat law for the rear-facing car seat that is specially meant to be used by toddlers under age 2. This law is important for the safety of children. It also deals with child safety tips and the way to choose the right type of seat based on age and size. It will also highlight the penalties for violating the Ohio car safety law and the importance of using the car seat.


With the increasing cases of car accidents, many people might be concerned about their loved ones and the safety of their families. The Biggest threat is to children under the age of 12. The kids need the utmost care, especially when they are younger. As per recent studies, car crashes, accidental poisoning, falls, choking and drowning are the major cause of death in many states of the USA. It’s important not to overlook this issue, especially for the infant’s safety. Therefore, the Ohio car seat law has been established to protect children from car accidents. Various child safety seats are being designed, especially to protect children from any injury due to motor vehicle accidents. So let’s look into the Ohio car seat law rear-facing.

Rear-Facing Car Seat Requirements

As per the American Academy of pediatrician technical package released in 2018, all toddlers and infants should ride only in the rear-facing car seat till they reach the maximum height and weight allocated to them should seat in the rear-facing car seat as long as they can. According to the Ohio law for child safety, infants and children under the age of 2 years and weighing at least 40 pounds should sit in the rear-facing car seat.

Understanding the Ohio Car Seat Law For Rear Facing Seat
Rear Facing Seat Laws

For the best protection, the toddlers or infants should sit in the child safety car seat facing the backside of the car till they reach the age of two years or until they reach the maximum weight and height of the convertible seat.

Rear car Seat Placement in Vehicles

The child safety car seat should be placed in the vehicle properly. Always fit the rear-facing seat on the back seat of the car or the rear seat when the airbags are activated. The child seat should never be close to the airbag as it can deploy anytime. Therefore, it’s always recommended not to place the car seat on the car’s back seat when passenger airbags are deactivated. Then, the children can sit on the rear-facing car safety seat that can also be fitted in the front seat.

Car Seat Safety Tips for Parents and Caregivers

Here are the car seat safety tips which the caregiver and all parents should follow:

  • Use the child safety seats: Using the safety seat can reduce the chance of fatal injuries occurring during car accidents by 70 per cent for children of age 1 or less than that. Use the manufacturer’s instruction book to install the car set properly and safely. The safest seat where the child’s rear seat can be placed on the backseat. If the child is riding in the front passenger seat by chance, then the airbag should be turned off.
  • Never drink & drive: In the USA, almost 40% of car accidents occur due to drinking. In 60 per cent of cases of drunk driving, it has been found that most children are with the drunk driver. As per the NSC, every 3 to 10 seconds, an American citizen is involved in a car accident related to alcohol drinking. If you have been drinking, you should give the driving seat to a designated driver, not the drunk person.

Choosing the right type of car seat based on size and age

Choosing the right car seat is essential as it can reduce the chance of getting injured during a car accident. Infants under the age of one should sit in the rear-facing car seat, which will reduce the chance of getting injured by 71%. Similarly, for toddlers from 1 to 4 years, the chance of injury can be reduced to 54%. There are various factors which are needed to be considered while selecting the car setup for your child. So let’s see what all factors are there at the time of selecting the right car seat.

Understanding the Ohio Car Seat Law For Rear Facing Seat
Seat Types As Per Age
  • Weight and height: The most important factor one should always consider during car seat selection is the weight and height limit. All the child safety car seats are designed based on this factor. For toddlers, the upper weight and height limit is more than 40 pounds and 4”9 in height. Moreover, to know more about the weight and height limit, the children should consider using the manual to check whether the seat is appropriate. If the child outgrows even one inch, they should immediately change the car seat and sit on the forward-facing car seat.
  • Age: There is no upper limit to sit in the car seat. A child can sit as long as they want until they reach the maximum weight and height limit allocated to the car seat. Apart from this, it is also essential that the harness should be in the child’s car seat.
  • Level of development: The children who need special healthcare attention, which includes behavioral concerns, poor head control and many more, can benefit from sitting in the child safety is it.

Installing the Car Seat in the Rear-Facing Position

As per NHTSA, a person can install car seats in two different ways. One is with the use of a seat belt, and the other is with the use of a lower anchor:

Installing car seat with the seatbelt

  • First, read the instruction manual provided with a car seat. Look very closely at the steps and information provided with the car seat manual. It’s important to understand the car seat belt system.
  • Keep the car seat on the backside or back of the vehicle.
  • Carefully pull the seat belt via the belt path of the rear-facing car seat. Ensure that the seatbelt is placed properly without any twist.
  • Buckle up and lock the car seat belt properly.
  • Press the button firmly to tighten up the car seat. Check that the car seat’s base should not move away from the front or side, even for 1 inch.
  • Ensure that the car seat is there at the right recline angle. And if the baby is less than one year old, they must sit at a semi-reclined angle, keeping airways open. Most infant car seats have built-in recline angle indicators, which can assist you. As the child grows, position or angle should also be adjusted.
  • Attach toddler or infant carrier properly to the car base.

Install the Car Seat with Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH)

  • Read the instruction manual of the car seat and the manual provided with the vehicle properly. Keep a close look at the positioning of the lower anchor.
  • Place the child safety seat on the backseat. This is because, at the time of the accident, the safest seat is the back seat. The rear-facing seat protects the child’s neck, spine and head region.
  • Find the location of the lower anchor inside the vehicle. Connect the attachment of the base of the car seat lower anchor with the lower anchor of the vehicle.
  • Once properly connected, check for any twisting in the strap.
  • Press the button firmly to tighten up the car seat. Check that the car seat’s base should not move away from the front or side, even for 1 inch.
  • Check for the right recline angle. Attach the carrier with the base.

How to verify the correct installation of the car seat

The government has appointed various child passenger safety technicians in the community, which provides necessary education and resources to the caregiver and parents of the car seat. Moreover, the technicians are well trained and have good hands-on experience regarding properly installing the car seat.

So if you want to find the best child passenger safety technician, visit NHTSA’s official website. There you will find the option of the Fitting station tool to add the address or ZIP Code. After that, it will generate a list of fitting stations near your location. They usually don’t take much charge.

Importance of strapping children to the car seat correctly

The harness strap must be below or at shoulder level if the child is sitting in the rear-facing seat. Keeping the harness very much high can lead to a child falling off the seat during an accident. That is why it’s essential to use the harness strap properly. Stripping the child properly to the car seat is to protect them from sliding away during any collision.

Keeping Car Seats Up-to-Date and Replacing them after accidents.

It is quite essential to keep the car up-to-date to avoid the chance of any system failure. Update your car if:

The car seat has expired: Many people don’t even consider the car seat’s expiration date. The plastic used during car seats could become brittle over time, degrading its overall quality and making it less effective.

The seat is damaged: While sitting on the car seat if you find any crack or wear or tear in the car seat. If anything happens, then replace the seating immediately.

The vehicle seat was involved in an accident: Serious collisions can compromise a car seat’s structure and design, making it less likely to offer adequate protection at the time of the subsequent collision.

Penalties for Violating Ohio Car Seat Laws

There is a fine that a person has to pay if they violate any of the Ohio car seat laws. The minimum amount payable is $25, which can go up to $75.

Repeat Offenses and Increased Penalties

If the mistake is repeated again, the government can charge a high penalty of up to $250 for violating the rule for the second time, and sometimes the person might need to go to jail.

Understanding the Purpose of Car Seat Laws and Fines

The main purpose of implementing the fine is to make people understand how important this law is once they pay it. They won’t violate the rule again.

Car Seat Exemptions for Special Circumstances

Here are a few exemptions to the car seat laws for the rear-facing seat:

·         Medical Conditions

If the children are facing any physical ailment and cannot sit in their car seat, they need to get a certificate assigned by the authorities, and the physician will analyze it. After that, they are not required to sit in the child’s car seat.

·         Certain Vehicle

As per Ohio law, the children who are seating in the taxi won’t need to sit in the child’s car seat. The child seat is only allocated when the child travels in a vehicle other than a taxi or public transport.

Importance of Proper Car Seat Use

The main reason for using the car seat is to protect your child from any injury during a car crash. It reduces the chance of death and injury.

Tips for Safe Car Seat Use

For the safe use of the child’s car seat, follow this tip:

  • Ensure that the seat is properly connected to the car seat.
  • Keep the seat belt on even after moving to the car’s front seat.
  • Read the instructions provided in the manual properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.    How long does a child have to be rear-facing in Ohio?

Ohio law for child safety, infants and children under 2 years and weighing at least 40 pounds should sit in the rear-facing car seat.

2.    When should a child stop be in a rear-facing car seat?

Once the children reach the age of 2, they can only leave the rear-facing car seat.

3.    What is the age limit for rear-facing car seats in Ohio?

Children under the age of 2 should sit in the rear-facing car seat.

4.    Is it mandatory for children to use rear-facing car seats in Ohio?

Yes, it is highly essential to use the rear-facing seat to protect the children so that they won’t suffer from any injury during a collision.

5.    Can a child face forward in a car seat before 2 years old in Ohio?

No, they should always face towards the back side of the car.

6.      What happens if I violate Ohio’s rear-facing car seat law?

If anyone violated the Ohio child safety law, they need to pay a fine ranging from $25 to a maximum of up to $75.

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About The Author

Hassan Zaka

I am an expert in accounting and have diverse experience in technical writing. I have written for various industries on finance, business, and technology. My writing style is clear and simple, and I use infographics and diagrams to make my writing engaging. I can benefit any organization needing technical writing services.

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