Child Passenger Safety

Using car safety seats and vehicle restraints properly is very important for infants and children. Safety restraints, when properly used, help prevent death and injury. Follow these guidelines to make sure all infants and children are safe passengers.

  • The best car safety seat:
    • Fits in the vehicle appropriately.
    • Fits the child properly.
    • Is used correctly.
    • Has never been in a crash.
  • The infant's car seat should face the rear of the vehicle until the infant is at least 20 pounds AND 1 year of age.
  • Infants who weigh 20 pounds before age 1 should ride facing the rear in a convertible seat or infant seat approved for higher weights until 1 year of age.
  • A rear-facing car safety seat must NEVER be placed in the front passenger seat. Assume that all vehicles have air bags, which are dangerous to children and infants in the front seat.
  • In rear-facing car safety seats for infants, shoulder straps must be at or below the infant's shoulders. The harness must be snug, and the car safety seat retainer clip should be positioned at the midpoint of the infant's chest, not at the abdomen or the neck.
  • A belt-positioning booster seat should be used when the child has outgrown a convertible safety seat but is too small to fit properly in a vehicle safety belt.
  • When the vehicle safety belt fits properly, the lap belt lies low and tight across the child's hips (not the abdomen) and the shoulder belt lies flat across the shoulder, away from the neck and face. Usually a child weighing 80 pounds and 5 feet in height can fit appropriately in a vehicle safety belt