Ashleigh Thompson of Mechanicsburg says it’s always stressful with her kids in the backseat.

“You want to drive more slowly,” Thompson said. “I take more time going around a corner.”

She admits it would be a much bigger stressor if she wasn’t so diligent about strapping in her kids. But Thompson stays right on track with the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Those guidelines include rear-facing car seats until age two and booster seats until a child is 4’9′ tall’. These height requirements have to do with where the seat belt lands on a child’s body.

The AAC also upped the recommended ages in which a child should stay in a booster seat.

“It had been 8 to 10, but now it’s 10 to 12,” PennDOT spokeswoman Fritzi Schreffler said. “It’s best practice as to what is going to be good for your child.”

Beginning August 12, a new law goes into effect in Pennsylvania that changes the requirements for car seats and booster seats.

The law requires kids under 2 years old sit in a rear-facing car seat. Kids under 8 years old must ride in an appropriately-fitting booster seat until they’re 4’9” tall or weigh 80 pounds. If parents do not abide by these rules, they could face a fine of up to $75.

“In Pennsylvania, we’ve made it a law because we’ve seen what happens in trauma, car crash, what we hear from police,” Schreffler said. “We’re doing our best to keep your child safe.”

The AAP recommendations can be found at

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