- Always use a Car Safety Seat. Start with the baby's first ride home from the hospital
- Babies under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing seat.
- Toddlers over age 1 and weighing 20 to 40 pounds can ride in a forward-facing car seat, only in the back seat. It is best to keep toddlers in a rear-facing position up until they reach the maximum weight and height allowed by the car seat.
- Children under the age of 13 should not ride in the front seat of a vehicle – with or without passenger seat airbags. The back seat is the safest place for children riding in vehicles by reducing the potential impact of head-on crashes.
- Airbags, when properly used with the vehicle’s lap/shoulder belt system, can save adult lives. However, airbags can be deadly for children. Never place a child in a seat equipped with an airbag; especially if the child is in a rear facing car seat.
- Proper use of child safety restraint seat is not only the law, it is necessary to your child’s well being and safety. Children can get hurt when parents or caregivers do not put them in age and size appropriate child safety seats or belt restraints while riding in a vehicle.
- The safest level for the car seat harness straps for a child in the rear facing position is even with or just below the baby’s shoulders. If the harness is above the baby’s shoulders with the straps in the lowest position, do not use the car seat until the baby grows into it.
- To be sure that the car seat is installed securely follow the this procedure: After tightening the lap belt as much as possible, tilt and push the child restraint forward and to both sides. If no loosening occurs, your car seat should be secure. If your seat moves more than an inch when you push on it at the belt path, or you have any doubts regarding the security of your seat, try using a locking clip or move the car seat to another location where you can tighten the vehicle belt securely. It is also important to thoroughly read your instruction manual to ensure proper installation of your car seat.
- It is important for the whole family to always use safety devices while children are young. This forms a foundation for good habits when young adults are passengers in other’s cars or begin driving themselves.
- Children under age 8 and weighing more than 40 pounds, should always ride in a Belt-positioning Booster Seat in the back seat, with both lap and shoulder belts.
- A recent study of children age 4-7 found that children who ride in booster seats had less than one-half the risk of injury in a car accident compared with children in seat belts alone. In particular, booster seats sharply cut the risk of injuries to the abdomen, neck and spine.
- Make sure that your children ride in a booster seat from 4 years and 40 pounds to 8 years and 80 pounds—this is what the studies have shown is safest.