Child Passenger Safety

Child Passenger Safety bb3 May 24, 2010

By Staff writer State Farm™ Employee

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Nothing's more important than the safety of your children. Considering at least 80% of all car seats are installed and used improperly, there are some things you should keep in mind to keep your kids safe in the car.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests the following:


  • Do make sure to restrain your child appropriately for his or her age and size (see below for more).

  • Do follow directions that come with the car seat and in the vehicle owner's manual.

  • Do find a Safety Seat Inspection Station near you if you're having any trouble installing the car seat.


  • Don't allow your child under 13 years old to sit in the front seat.

  • Don't allow a child to sit in front of an active airbag, especially rear-facing infants.   

Birth – 12 Months

  • All infants under age 1 should ride rear-facing.

  • Infant-only seats typically must be used in the rear-facing position. Most convertible seats and 3-in-1 seats can be used rear-facing and usually have higher weight and height limits.

1 – 3 Years

  • Children ages 1-3 years should ride rear-facing as long as possible, within the weight and height limits of the seat.

  • Once your child outgrows his or her rear-facing seat, a forward-facing car seat with a harness should be used.

4 – 7 Years

  • Children ages 4-7 years should remain in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she reaches the weight and height limits of the seat.

  • Once your child outgrows his or her forward-facing seat with a harness, a belt-positioning booster seat should be used in conjunction with the vehicle’s lap and shoulder seat belt.

8 – 12 Years

  • Your child should continue using a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle’s lap and shoulder seat belt fits properly.

  • The shoulder strap should fit snugly over the shoulder and across the chest. Make sure it's never across the neck, face, or arm.

  • The lap belt should fit low and tight on your child’s hips, not over his or her stomach.

For More Information

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