In California, automobile crashes are the leading cause of death for children 4-16 years old. When properly used, child safety seats are effective in saving children's lives in a crash. But a survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that nearly 80% of child restraints are misused.
It is recommended that every parent take 15 minutes for an at-home car seat checkup using the Safe Kids California checklist here >>
It's important to read the vehicle and car seat instruction manuals to help with the checklist. If you are having even the slightest trouble, questions or concerns, help is a call or click away. Certified child passenger safety technicians are able to help or even double check your work.
California law requires children under 8 years of age or under 4' 9" in height to be secured in a rear seat in a child passenger restraint system. All children under 8 years of age must be appropriately restrained in the back seat unless there are no other available seating positions.
There are several exceptions to the back seat rule.
- A child may ride in the front if:
- if the vehicle has no rear seats
- if a child restraint system cannot properly be installed in the rear seat;
- if all rear seats are already occupied by children under the age of 12 years;
- if a medical reason requires the child to ride in the front seat.
- back seats that are rear-facing or side-facing jump seats.
- Never place a child in a safety seat or booster seat in the front seat of a vehicle equipped with a passenger air bag unless the car is equipped with an airbag-off switch for this purpose.
- Child safety seats must never be placed in side-facing vehicle seats