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New Mexico Child Safety Seat and Seat Belt Laws

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New Mexico state law requires that all children under age 18 be properly restrained in a car seat, booster seat or seat belt.

The New Mexico law further specifies that properly restrained means: 1) children under age 1 must ride rear-facing in a federally approved car seat in the back seat if the vehicle has one, and not in front of an airbag; 2) children up to their seventh birthday, regardless of weight, and all children weighing less than 60 pounds, regardless of age, to ride in a federally approved child safety seat.; and 3) children ages 7 to 12 must be properly secured in a seat belt or federally approved booster seat that fits their height and weight.

New Mexico law also states that when children are wearing a seat belt, properly restrained means that the lap belt sits low across the hips and not on the abdomen, and that the shoulder portion of the seat belt crosses the chest, not the head or neck. When wearing a seat belt, New Mexico state law says properly secured children are able to sit all the way back against the vehicle seat with their knees bent over the seat edge. The state website suggests that children remain rear-facing as long as possible.

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