Child Passenger Safety Week / National Seat Check Saturday September 15 - 21, 2013
Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13 years old. The best way to protect your child is to put them in the right car seat, at the right time, and use it in the right way. But there are so many car seat types and models, how do you know which one is right for your child? Basically, the right car seat or booster fits your child and your car and is the one you will use correctly every time you travel. Not only will your child ride as safely as possible, you will be establishing the foundation for a lifelong habit of seat belt use every time your child travels in a car.
September 15 - 21, 2013 is National Child Passenger Safety Week with Saturday, September 21 being National Seat Check Day. Certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Technicians are available to provide free, hands-on car seat education and installation inspections so that you can make better-informed choices on using your child's car seat. Statistics have shown that over 80% of car seats are installed incorrectly and/or unsafely. In Marin County, California Highway Patrol (CHP) is offering free car seat installations, with hands-on advice and instruction on how to choose, install and use a car seat correctly. Please call 415.924.1100 to make an appointment with CHP.
Two important and recent child passenger safety changes:
- Parents are encouraged to keep their child rear-facing as long as possible. Turn-around to front-facing used to be age-related but is now based on weight. All of the current infant and convertible seats are for rear-facing weights up to 35 pounds -- the best practice is to aim on keeping your child rear-facing until or close to the maximum weight stated on the car seat. Children are the safest rear-facing.
- Children must ride in the back seat of a car, either in a car seat or a booster seat, until they are 8 years old or the height of 4' 9".
Child Passenger Safety Week is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA's website offers a variety of information for parents and caregivers:
• To locate a car seat inspection station near you, please visit http://www.nhtsa.gov/apps/cps/index.htm
• For child passenger safety information from car seats to car keys, please visit NHTSA’s Parents Central site at
• To register your car seat to be notified in case of a safety recall, please visit