Child Passenger Safety: Safety Seats and Boosters
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.
Injury Prevention Information
• Distracted Driving
• Helmet Safety
• Fall Prevention
• Child Carseat Safety
• Booster Seat FAQs
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Hospital Trauma Center
Asientos de seguridad >>
Safe Kids checklist
Numerous local groups provide carseat safety checks >>
Additional information on child passenger safety can be found at
California Auto Insurance and Child Safety Seats Law
Insurance coverage is required to be provided for the replacement of a child passenger restraint system that was in use by a child during an accident.
It is illegal to sell or offer for sale a child passenger restraint system that was un use by a child during an accident.
Children age 8 and older may use the vehicle seat belt if it fits properly, with the lap belt low on the hips touching the upper thighs and the shoulder belt crossing the center of the chest. Children who are not tall enough for proper fit must ride in a booster or car seat.
The 5-Step Test
If you answered no to any of these questions, your child needs a booster seat to ride safely in a vehicle. Kids like boosters because they are more comfortable, too.
Learn more about booster seats here >>