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Eighty percent of kids riding in car safety seats are at risk because they are not buckled in correctly. Are yours?

Here are a few pointers for using children’s car safety seats.

  • The safest place for all children to ride is in the back seat.
  • An infant in a rear-facing seat should NEVER be placed in the front seat of a vehicle that has a passenger air bag.
  • If an older child must ride in the front seat, move back the seat as far as possible, buckle the child properly, and make sure he or she stays in the proper position at all times.
  • Check your safety seat instructions to ensure your child is facing the correct way for his or her weight, height, and age.
  • Make sure your child is not undersized or oversized for the seat.
  • Harnesses should fit snugly against your child’s body. Check the car safety seat instructions for how to adjust the straps.
  • Make sure your car safety seat has not been recalled. Call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Auto Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236 for information on recalled seats.

Check with a certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Technician to be sure you’re using your child’s car safety seat correctly. Find one by calling the NHTSA at (888) 327-4236 or visiting www.seatcheck.org.

See the brochure Car Safety Seats: A Guide for Families, available at www.aap.org.

Information from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.