It is your responsibility as a parent to ensure your child is properly restrained in a car or booster seat whenever he or she is riding in a vehicle. Pennsylvania has put into place laws to ensure you do this. These child restraint laws are detailed and specific to ensure children are as safe as possible in motor vehicles. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation requires children age eight and under to use specific child restraints.
Children age four to eight must use a booster seat. Children age two and under must be in a rear facing car seat. These requirements for car seats are based upon manufacturer limits. Once a child reaches the maximum height and weight, the seat used must be changed or the seat can be changed to forward facing. You should always read the literature that comes with the car seat so you know the limits and requirements for safe use.
The law does not require children to ride in the back seats only, but manufacturers do warn against using a rear facing car seat in the front seat of a vehicle with air bags. The state does recommend children should always ride in the back seat until they are over the age of 12. PennDOT runs an awareness campaign to help ensure child restraints are properly installed and the correct seats are used in September. They also offer fitting stations, and counties offer programs for free seats. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.