Child Passenger Safety
You can help protect your children from injury or death in motor vehicle accidents by making sure they are correctly belted in a car seat or booster seat.
From birth to age 13, follow these steps to keep your child passenger safe:
Step 1 - Rear-facing car seats
Infants should be in a rear-facing car seat until they are both:
- at least one year old AND
- weigh at least 20 pounds.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a rear-facing car seat until the child reaches the upper weight or height limit allowed by the manufacturer (usually 30 - 35 pounds.)
Step 2 - Forward-facing car seats
Children should ride in forward-facing seats when they are:
- at least 1 year old AND
- weigh between 20 to 40 pounds.
- Some harness systems are approved for over 40 pounds; read your manual.
Step 3 - Booster seats
Children who weigh between 40 and 100 pounds and are under 4 feet 9 inches tall should use a booster seat.
- Guideline: The child should be able to sit all the way back in the seat with their knees bent at the edge before they move out of the booster seat.
Step 4 - Safety belts
Children who weigh over 80 pounds and more than 4 feet 9 inches tall should wear the safety belts adults use.
All children under 13 years should ride in the back seat.
Visit these websites for more information:
Car Safety Seats: A Guide for Families - American Academy of Pediatrics
Is Your Child in the Right Car Seat? - NHTSA - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
safecar.gov - NHTSA - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration