Child Safety Seat Information

Child Safety Seat Infographic Pencil
Is your child riding in the correct safety seat?  Do you need help installing your child's safety seat?  Hanover County Sheriff Office can help.  The Hanover County Sheriff's Office has officers certified to inspect and install child safety seats. These officers frequently assist citizens with the installation and inspection of child safety seats. The Hanover County Sheriff's Office firmly believes that such education and assistance is the key to saving lives.

Ensure the safety of your precious cargo, have your child safety seat checked!

If you are a Hanover County resident or work in Hanover County, contact the Hanover Sheriff's Office at (804-365-6140) to have a certified technician inspect and/or install your child safety seat.

Car Seat Installation

Child Safety Seat Check

The National SAFE KIDS Campaign recommends that whenever possible, children ages 12 and under ride in the back seat of a vehicle.

The safest position for a safety seat, is the back seat, secured with the LATCH system, if equipped, or seat belt.  Virginia state law also requires that any child secured in a safety seat must ride in the back seat.  The only exception is if the vehicle does not have a back seat AND the passenger side airbag, if equipped, is turned off.

  • A child should ride in a rear-facing seat until age 2, unless the child reaches the weight limit of the rear facing position (as prescribed by the manufacturer).  A rear-facing safety seat should never be placed in a vehicle seat equipped with an air bag, unless the airbag is turned off.
  • After the child reaches age 2 or has reached the maximum weight range of the rear position, then a child can ride in a forward-facing seat equipped with internal harnesses.  (This becomes Virginia state law, effective July 1, 2019). 
  • When a child reaches the height and weight limit of their forward-facing seat (as prescribed by the manufacturer), they should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat, to be used in combination with an adult lap and shoulder belt.  A child should remain in the booster seat until he/she is at least 8 years of age.

VA State Code reference:  46.2-1095

To be able to use an adult seat belt, the child should be at least 8 years of age, and:
  • He can sit against the back of the seat and bend his knees over the front edge of the vehicle seat.
  • The lap belt makes good contact low over his hips.
  • The shoulder belt makes good contact across his chest and collarbone, not at face.
  • Child's feet can rest on the floor board.
Common Misuse of Child Safety Seats & the Consequences
Misuse: Vehicle's seat belt is not correctly routed through the child safety seat belt path.
Consequences: Child seat may not be held securely during a crash allowing contact with interior surfaces.

Misuse: Harness retainer clip improperly used (improperly threaded and set below armpit level).
Consequences: Harness straps can slip off shoulders allowing movement during a crash.

Misuse: Harness straps not tight enough and harness straps worn and frayed.
Consequences: Looseness in the child safety seat restraint system results in compounding crash forces experienced by the child. Higher crash forces mean more severe injuries!
Child Buckle Up