Child Passenger Safety

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.

More information

Booster Seat Handout - Spanish

Car Seats for Small Infants - English | Spanish

Child Passenger Restraint Law - English | Spanish

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 - NHTSA - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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