About the Law
On June 1, 2007, Washington's revised Child Restraint Law went into effect. This law, also known as the Anton Skeen Act, is one of the strongest child restraint laws in the nation. It requires the use of booster seats for older children.
The law was the work of a bi-partisan legislative effort spurred on by a Walla Walla parent, Autumn Alexander Skeen. Autumn lost her 4-year-old son, Anton Skeen in a rollover collision. Anton was using a seat belt in accordance with state law at the time. Yet, because seat belts are built for adult bodies, he slid out of his seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle and crushed in the collision.
Child Restraint Regulations
In 2000, Washington was the first state in the nation to pass this type of law. Children under the age of 16 years must be restrained in a vehicle according to the following steps:
|Under the Age of 1||Weighing Less Than 20 Pounds||N/A||Rear-Facing Infant Seat|
|Ages 1 - 4||Weighing Between 20 - 40 pounds||N/A||Forward-Facing Child Safety Seat|
|Under the Age of 8||N/A||Unless Over 4 Feet and 9 Inches Tall||Booster Seat With Lap and Shoulder Belt|
|Over the Age of 8||N/A||N/A||Proper-Fitting Seat Belt or Booster Seat With a Lap and Shoulder Belt|
Doctor & Safety Expert Recommendation
Doctors and safety experts recommend that children ride in booster seats until the lap and shoulder belt fit right, usually when they are at least 4 feet, 9 inches tall, or around 8 years old.
A child is exempt from the booster seat law requirement, only when a child weighs 40 pounds or more and is in a vehicle with lap-only belts.