Take your time to get it right
When it's time to install your child's car seat, follow the manufacturer's instructions and your vehicle owner's manual. Every seat and vehicle is different. Even if it's just a short drive, always use the correct child safety restraint.
Step 1 – Choose the right car seat
Step 2 – Install the seat correctly
Step 3 – Use the seat correctly
In the past five years (2015-2019), 17 children (ages 0–7) were killed in motor vehicles and only 41 percent of the victims were known to be properly secured.
Of the 87 children (ages 0–7) seriously injured in motor vehicles in the past five years, only 53 percent of the victims were known to be properly secured.
Of the 17,055 children ages 0–7 who were properly restrained in the past five years, 87 percent were not injured, and another 10 percent sustained only minor or possible injuries.
This one's too tight. This one's too big. This one's Juuuuuuust right.
Rear Facing Car Seats
Infant Car Seat
Facing Car Seats
Booster Seat with High Back
Backless Booster Seat
If your child can sit all the way back against the vehicle seat, their knees bend comfortably over the edge of the seat and they can stay seated like this for the entire trip, your child may be ready for a seat belt. The shoulder belt should cross their shoulder between the neck and arm, while the lap belt should rest low on their hips and not across their abdomen.
What if your preteen is in between?
Many kids over 8-years-old but shorter than 4'9" still require a booster seat. Choose a seat based on your child's size, not their age.
Did you know?
The backseat is safer. Fact: Most impacts are in the front of the vehicle. Since the backseat is farthest from the impact, it's safer. That's why children under 13 should ride in the backseat for maximum safety.
This is non-negotiable.
What child isn't an expert negotiator. They can talk you into or out of anything. Except wearing their seat belt. No matter how hard they fight, this is one battle you must win – always.
Teach by example.
Always wear your seat belt.
Lap and shoulder belt – or it doesn't count. Reinforce the message. Don't assume. Because one day they'll be riding with someone who won't remind them.
Did you know?
The majority of teens involved in fatal crashes weren't wearing their seat belts.