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Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children age 3 to 6 and 8 to 14. In a recent year, almost 7,000 passenger vehicle occupants age 14 and younger were involved in fatal crashes. Parents and caregivers are urged to make sure their car seats and booster seats are properly installed in their vehicles to prevent injuries and deaths amongst their children.

Not sure which child safety seat to use?

Are you looking for a vehicle safety seat for your infant, toddler or 4-8 year old child but overwhelmed by the choices and worried about how to properly install your car seat? Be sure to read the manual and if still not sure how to install the safety seat correctly, contact your local fire department to see if they can assist you in proper installation of the safety seat. Many fire departments across the country offer this service or call your local agencies for more information.

  • Everybody child needs a child safety seat, booster seat, or safety belt!
  • There must be one safety belt for each person. Buckling two people, even children, into one belt could injure both.
  • People who are not buckled up can be thrown from the car or around inside the car, and seriously hurt themselves or others.
  • Never hold a child on your lap! You could crush him/her in a crash, or the child may be torn from your arms.
  • Never ride in the cargo area of a station wagon, van, or pickup! Anyone riding in the cargo area could be thrown out and severely injured or killed.
  • No one seat is 'best', The 'best' child safety seat is the one that fits your child and can be installed correctly.
  • Children age 12 and under should ride properly restrained in back.

Using a safety restraint correctly makes a big difference. For example, a child safety seat may not protect your child in a crash if it isn’t used correctly and installed properly in your vehicle.

Check To Be Sure That ...

  • All Children age 12 and under are properly restrained in the back seat.
  • A rear-facing child safety seat is never placed in front of an active passenger air bag.
  • How They Work.
  • Always read the child safety seat instruction manual.
  • Read your vehicle owner's manual seat belt and child seat installation section.

Which is the Correct Restraint?

car seats for different age groups REAR FACING SEATS in the back seat from birth to at least 1 year old and at least 20 pounds.

car seats for different age groups FORWARD-FACING TODDLER SEATS in the back seat from age 1 and 20 pounds to about age 4 and 40 pounds

car seats for different age groups BOOSTER SEATS in the back seat from about age 4 to at least age 8, unless 4’9” tall.

car seats for different age groups SAFETY BELTS at age 8 and older or taller than 4’9”. All children age 12 and under should ride in the back seat.

When is a Child Ready for the Adult Safety Belt?

  • Until age 8, most children have not developed strong hipbones, and their legs and body are too short to allow for proper fit of a safety belt. Safety belts are designed for adults.

  • To be able to fit in a safety belt, a child must:

    • Be tall enough to sit without slouching,

    • Keep his/her back against the vehicle seat-back,

    • Keep his/her knees completely bent over the edge of the seat,

    • Keep his/her feet flat on the floor, and

    • Be able to stay comfortably seated this way.

  • The lap belt must fit low and tight across the upper thighs. The shoulder belt should rest over the center of the shoulder and across the chest.

  • Never put the shoulder belt under the child's arm or behind the child's back. This can cause severe internal injuries in a crash. If the safety belt does not fit properly the child should use a belt-positioning booster seat.

  • Always check the seat belt fit on the kids in every vehicle. A seat-belt positioning booster-seat may be needed in some vehicles and not in others.

Safety Tips for Booster Seats

When do you use a booster seat? After your child outgrows the child safety seat.

Children who have outgrown child safety seats should be properly restrained in booster seats until they are at least 8 years old, unless they are 4’9” tall. Go-Here to Search Health and Wellness Online Resources about Health Related Subjects of Interest

The shoulder belt should never be placed behind a child’s back or under the arm. If this is done, your child could be seriously injured or killed in a crash.

Because many State laws only require children to be in a safety seat up to age 4 or so, many parents assume older kids are safe in just an adult safety belt. However, all children need to be restrained correctly whenever they ride in a motor vehicle – every trip, every time.

Booster seats are sold at toy stores, department stores, and other retail outlets.

Why We Use Booster Seats

Safety belts are not designed for children. Beginning at around age 4, many children are too large for toddler seats but too small for adult safety belts. A booster seat raises your child up so that the safety belt fits right – and can better protect your child. The shoulder belt should cross the kids chest and rest snugly on the shoulder, and the lap belt should rest low across the pelvis or hip area – never across the stomach area.

Recommended Websites of Interest

» Visit Generic Wear.com discount kids and family clothing center ...

» In addition, you can also pay a visit to Net Smart Kids Children's Organization ...

» Supper Kids kids web site. We will soon be offering memberships to our new Kids Club so please visit KidsSeat.com again ...

» Visit Whizz Kids Healthy Eating for good children's health from heathy eating and exercise ...