Child Safety Laws Ohio
(H) This section does not apply when an emergency exists that threatens the life of any person operating or occupying a motor vehicle that is being used to transport a child who otherwise would be required to be restrained under this section. This section does not apply to a person operating a motor vehicle who has an affidavit signed by a physician licensed to practice in this state under Chapter 4731. of the Revised Code or a chiropractor licensed to practice in this state under Chapter 4734. of the Revised Code that states that the child who otherwise would be required to be restrained under this section has a physical impairment that makes use of a child restraint system, booster seat, or an occupant restraining device impossible or impractical, provided that the person operating the vehicle has safely and appropriately restrained the child in accordance with any recommendations of the physician or chiropractor as noted on the affidavit.
(G) The failure of an operator of a motor vehicle to secure a child in a child restraint system, a booster seat, or an occupant restraining device as required by this section is not negligence imputable to the child, is not admissible as evidence in any civil action involving the rights of the child against any other person allegedly liable for injuries to the child, is not to be used as a basis for a criminal prosecution of the operator of the motor vehicle other than a prosecution for a violation of this section, and is not admissible as evidence in any criminal action involving the operator of the motor vehicle other than a prosecution for a violation of this section.
(b) If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of division (A), (B), (C), or (D) of this section or of a municipal ordinance that is substantially similar to any of those divisions, the offender is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.
Although there are no current laws prohibiting unattended children or pets in vehicles, an existing danger to the health and safety of a child or pet could be cause for punishment under child neglect endangerment and animal cruelty laws.
(1) Whoever violates division (A), (B), (C), or (D) of this section shall be punished as follows, provided that the failure of an operator of a motor vehicle to secure more than one child in a child restraint system, booster seat, or occupant restraining device as required by this section that occurred at the same time, on the same day, and at the same location is deemed to be a single violation of this section:
(a) Except as otherwise provided in division (L)(1)(b) of this section, the offender is guilty of a minor misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than seventy-five dollars.
(B) When any child who is in either or both of the following categories is being transported in a motor vehicle, other than a taxicab, that is owned, leased, or otherwise under the control of a nursery school or day-care center, the operator of the motor vehicle shall have the child properly secured in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions in a child restraint system that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards: