In the United States, states have the authority to make their own laws. This allows each state to pass laws that reflect their specific needs and circumstances. While some of these laws may seem arbitrary, there are plenty of reasons why each state may have its own law for car seats.

In New Hampshire, you can be held liable for injuries sustained in a car accident caused by your child’s unsafe or improper car seat. This can be a costly legal issue if you haven’t made sure that your child is properly secured in the seat. It is important to learn about New Hampshire car seat laws before traveling with your child in a vehicle.

New Hampshire Car Seat Law

New Hampshire Car Seat Laws

New Hampshire Car Seat Laws

New Hampshire Infant/Toddler Car Seat Law

All children under the age of seven must be restrained using a federally approved system, according to New Hampshire law. Children between the ages of one and twelve months should travel in infant-only seats, according to experts.

New Hampshire Rear-facing Car Seat Law

As the law in New Hampshire says that a child must be properly restrained, a rear-facing seat is a good choice for children who are between 12 months and 2 years old. As long as possible, keep the child in a rear-facing seat because it’s the safest for them.

New Hampshire Forward-facing Car Seat Law

In New Hampshire, there are no age, height, or weight limits for forward-facing seats. Instead, you’ll follow the car seat manufacturer’s instructions for your seat, which are lawful. A child who is in a forward-facing seat should be strapped in with the harness and tether. There should be no more than one finger between the strap and the shoulder of a child.

New Hampshire booster seat law for young kids

Children under the age of six who are less than 57 inches tall are required by law to use a federally approved child restraint system. This means that children who have outgrown forward-facing chairs should use booster seats until they are 6 years old or 57 inches tall.

Booster seats are mostly used to lift kids up so that they can fit in their seat belts properly. For a good fit, the shoulder belt should cross in the middle of the chest, and the lap belt should be snug across the upper thighs.

There are 2 types of booster seats:

  • High-back booster seats – If your car’s seat back is lower than your child’s ears, you have to use a high-back booster seat to protect your child’s head and neck.
  • Backless booster seats – If your car’s seat back is higher than your child’s ears, you can use a backless booster seat.

Requirements for children to use the front seat in New Hampshire 

New Hampshire does not have a statute requiring children to ride in the front seat. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of 13 rides in the back seat of the car. The majority of specialists concur, owing to the fact that passenger-side airbags fitted in front seats frequently deploy with enormous power, which can be devastating to children. Additionally, the back of the car is believed to be safer in general.

If you are confused about whether your child should use a booster seat or an adult seat belt only, this simple test will help you decide.

The Five-Step Seat Belt Fit Test:

  1. Is the child able to sit all of the way back against the auto seat?
  2. Are the child’s knees able to bend comfortably at the edge of the vehicle seat?
  3. Is the belt crossing over the shoulder between the neck and arm?
  4. Is the lap belt as low as possible, with the thighs?
  5. Is it possible for the child to remain in this position the whole journey?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, your kid is not ready for an adult seat belt and still requires a booster seat to travel safely in the car. Boosters are popular with kids since they are more comfortable!

Taxi Car Seat Law in New Hampshire 

In New Hampshire, taxis are exempt from child restraint laws. However, it is suggested that you bring one along and keep your child secure during the trip in a car. The driver, cannot prevent you from using a child protection system. 

New Hampshire car seat replacement law after Accident

In the event of an accident, there is no law in New Hampshire that requires you to purchase a new car seat. However, we should keep in mind that using a car seat that has been in a serious accident is extremely dangerous.

however, “NHTSA recommends that car seats be replaced following a moderate or severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers. Car seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash.”

Law on leaving a child in a car in New Hampshire 

The law does not apply when a child is left unattended in a car. However, the state has a child endangerment law that may apply in such a case. It is not advisable to leave your child alone in a vehicle for any length of time.

Penalties For Violating New Hampshire Car Seat Laws

If you are found to be in violation of New Hampshire’s child passenger restraints law, you may be fined $50.00 for a first offense or $100.00 for a second or subsequent infraction. You could also face charges for any other infraction in which a violation of the child passenger restraints law is a factor.

When Can My Child Sit in the Front Seat in New Hampshire?

There is no law in New Hampshire that specifies when a child may use the front seat. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of 13 travel in the back seat of a vehicle.

Is it Illegal to Smoke in a Car with a Child in New Hampshire?

Currently, New Hampshire is attempting to make smoking in a car with children passengers illegal. As a result, doing so is not unlawful for the time being.

However, it is not advisable to smoke in a car with any child passengers present. If you have no idea what your child faces when you smoke, secondhand smoke is linked to a variety of health problems. Please don’t assume it’s okay. Make sure your infant isn’t exposed to dangerous contaminants before it’s too late.

Child passenger safety related videos New Hampshire 

Rear-facing Car Seats for Babies: Safety Tips

Car Seat Safety: Front-facing Install & Child Placement

Car Seat Safety Teaching

Live Q&A: Safety tips for car seats and booster seats

USA Child Passenger Safety Laws by State


Click on your state on the map below to see your state’s car seat law

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