Child Restraint Laws - Greater Cincinnati Automobile Dealers Association

Child Restraint Laws

The fine for violation of the Ohio Child Restraint and Booster Seat Laws is $25 – $75 for the first offense.
The second offense is punishable by up to 30 days in jail.

Ohio Child Restraint Law:

Requires children up to 4 years old AND 40 pounds to be restrained in a child restraint seat that meets federal standards and is correctly used according to the manufacture’s instructions.

Ohio Booster Seat Law:

Requires children over 40 pounds and ages 4 years up to 8 years old unless 4’9” to be restrained in a booster seat.

Did You Know… 

1.  A child must ride rear-facing until at least 1 year and 20 lbs.  Research indicates and the AAP recommends that children
should ride rear-facing as long as possible to offer the best protection when riding in a vehicle.  Most current convertible
seats will go rear-facing to 30-40 lbs.  Parents should keep their children rear-facing up to 18-24 months.

2.  A child should ride in a child restraint with an internal harness as long as possible.  Many seats can be used up to 50, 65,
or 80 pounds with an internal harness.  Some of these seats can then be used as a booster seat.  These seats could be
an excellent choice for a younger child that is either heavier or taller.

3.  High back boosters are a good choice for transitioning a child from a child restraint to a booster seat especially if the child
falls asleep in the car.  The high back boosters might also offer protection if the vehicle has a side airbag as the high back
booster with “side wings” helps to keep the child correctly positioned in the vehicle away from the window.  Some of the
high back boosters can become a no back booster.

4.  No back booster seats might be a good choice for an older child that does not want anyone to know that they are in a
booster seat.  It would also work well for a child that is in a carpool since it is light weight and easy to transport.
Parents/caregivers need to make sure that either a headrest or the vehicle seat back is adjusted so that the back of the
child’s head is protected.

5.  Booster seats must be used with both lap and shoulder belts!

6.  Most child restraint (CR) manufactures recommend that seats should only be used for 5-7 years.  Check with the
manufacture before reusing the CR for another child.


For more information contact:
Susan Laurence
Injury Prevention Coordinator
Trauma Service
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital