Keeping Your Children Safe in Car Seats
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for children of every age from 5 to 14. This fact can be linked in part to the nonuse or improper use of child safety seats. Franciscan Health supports efforts to make sure children are using the proper car seats for their age and size.
Four steps for kids
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Guidelines state that all children under 13 should remain in the back seat of a vehicle and be properly restrained in a car seat that is appropriate for their age and size.
- Use rear-facing infant seats in the back seat from birth to at least 2 years or the child reaches the highest weigh or height allowed by the car seat's manufacturer.
- Use forward-facing toddler seats in the back seat from age 2 to about age 4 and 40 pounds.
- Use booster seats in the back seat from about age 4 to at least age 8 unless the child is 4'9" or taller.
- Use safety belts in the back seat at age 8 or older or when the child is taller than 4'9".
Car seat safety inspections
Many Franciscan Health centers offer free child safety seat inspections. Each local program is overseen by a nationally certified child safety seat technician who will inspect seats and instruct families in how to properly secure them in vehicles.