Car seats aren't optional and need to be used correctly, according to troopers

Florida officials offer tips on car seat safety

By Tara Evans - Executive Producer, Steve Montiero - Traffic Anchor

ORLANDO, Fla. - Car seats may not be the easiest thing to deal with, especially when in a hurry, but according to the Florida Highway Patrol, they aren't optional and they need to be used correctly.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has the following guidelines for car seats:

•Florida law requires children age 5 and under to be secured properly in a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device.

•Children ages 0 to 3 must be in child restraint devices of a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child seat.

•Children age 4 and 5 must be in a separate carrier, integrated child seat or booster seat.

•The best child seat is one that fits your child, fits your car and that drivers will use correctly every time.
•Read the car seat’s instruction manual and the portion of your vehicle’s owner manual when you install a car seat.

•Remember to check for car seat and booster seat recalls.

Troopers also said children should be rear-facing as long as possible. That basically means as long as they fit the weight and height guidelines of the car seat they’re using.

[WATCH: How to properly install a car seat using the car's seat belt]

News 6 Traffic Safety Expert Steven Montiero teamed up with the Florida Highway Patrol to put together the following demonstration videos:

[WATCH: How to properly install a car seat using the latch install]

[WATCH: How to make sure a harness is properly positioned on a child in a seat]

[WATCH: Trooper Steve, FHP's Lt. Kim Montes break down car seat myths, where to find instructions]

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