Child Passenger Laws

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Every hour, 150 children between newborn and 19 years old are treated in emergency departments for injuries sustained in motor vehicle crashes. More children 5 -19 years old die from crash-related injuries than from any other type of injury.

71% of fatalities and 67% of the serious injuries could have been prevented if they were buckled up. Child safety seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers. For children 4-7 years old, 59% of the injuries could have been prevented with the use of booster seats to position the lap and shoulder belt. More than 90% of child safety seats being inspected are used incorrectly.

  child passenger laws
27360 VC: All children under 8 years old must be properly buckled into a safety seat or booster in the back seat.
  • A child under 8 years old who is at least 4’9” may wear a vehicle safety belt 
  • (without a booster) if the belt fits properly
  • If the child is in an emergency vehicle or there is a life-threatening emergency and there is no safety seat available
  • Physical unfitness, medical condition, or size may be cause for exemption

27360.5 VC: Children 8 years old or older may use the vehicle safety belt if it fits properly with the lap belt low on the hips, touching the upper thighs, and the shoulder belt crossing the center of the chest. If the vehicle safety belt does not fit properly, they need a booster or safety seat.

27360(b) VC:  All children under 2 years old must be secured in rear-facing child safety seats, unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds or is 40 or more inches tall. 

15620 VC: A child 6 years old or less may not be left alone in a vehicle if the health and safety of the child is at risk, the engine is running, or the keys are in the ignition. The child must be supervised by someone at least 12 years old.

118948(a) H&S: Smoking in a vehicle is prohibited if a child under 18 years old is in the vehicle.
CDC - Child Passenger Safety
California DMV
If you have questions about child passenger safety seats or laws, please feel free to call the
Child Passenger Safety line at the Glendora Police Department (626) 914-8267 or email us at