• Child Passenger Safety

    Children are never more vulnerable to injury and death than when they’re riding in a car. Car crashes have long been the number one killer of children in our country. When installed and used correctly, child safety seats and safety belts can prevent injuries and save lives. Child safety seats can reduce fatal injury by up to 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers (ages 1 to 4).

  • To use any car seat correctly, pay close attention to the height and weight limitations specified by the manufacturer. PLEASE use any of the resources listed in the back of this book to schedule a FREE appointment with a child passenger safety technician for installation of your car seats.

    Ages 0-2

    According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child between the ages of zero and two should ride in a rear-facing car seat. If your child outgrows his/her car seat before their second birthday, you will need to purchase a new seat with higher height and weight limits.

    Ages 2-4

    After the age of two, your child can ride in a forward facing car seat with a five-point harness. Your child should remain in such a seat until he or she is four years old and weighs at least 40 pounds.

    • The car seat should not move more than one inch from side to side or front to back once in place. Using the force of a firm handshake, test the snugness of your seat’s installation. If the seat moves more than one inch, tighten the belt(s).
    • The chest clip should be positioned at the level of the child’s armpits. Double check to make sure it’s not riding up near the child’s neck or sliding down near the stomach.
    • Make sure your child is in the right seat. Every car seat lists height and weight restrictions.
    • Always secure the harness buckles. Car seats won’t protect a child who isn’t fully buckled up.
    • The rear seat is the safest place for children. If your vehicle doesn’t have a back seat, make sure the airbag in front of the child’s seat is deactivated.
    • Model proper seat belt use. Children are more likely to wear seat belts when they see adults wear them.
    • Refrain from using and buying any used car seats. You should know the history of your car seat; any seat that has been in a car accident will need to be replaced.
    • Always check expiration date of your car seat.
    • Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle.
    • Do not let your children play in an unattended vehicle. Teach them that a vehicle is not a play area.
    • Never leave infants or children in a parked vehicle, even if the windows are partially open.
    • Even cool temperatures in the 60s can cause the temperature to rise well above 110° Fahrenheit inside your car. The inside temperature can rise almost 20 degrees within the first 10 minutes.
  • Additional Resources

    Cincinnati Children’s is a member of the Safe Kids USA campaign and the lead organization of the Cincinnati Safe Kids Coalition.  Their goal is to prevent your child from being injured in a motor vehicle crash, fire, scalding, pedestrian activity, poisoning, choking, bike crash, fall, water activity or shooting.

    Drug and Poison Information Center (DPIC)
    The Drug and Poison Information Center works to provide you with important prevention information, educational materials, first-aid information, common household hazards and references to national helpline organizations and agencies. 

    The phone number for the Cincinnati Drug and Poison Information Center is 513-636-5111. You may also call a national hotline, 1-800-222-1222, and you will be connected to the center that serves your area.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    Protect the Ones You Love: Child Injuries are Preventable. In an effort to raise parents' awareness about the leading causes of child injury in the United States and how they can be prevented, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched the Protect the Ones You Love initiative.

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    The best way to protect them in the car is to put them in the right seat, at the right time, and use it the right way.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) helps give additional information on choosing and using car seats as well as a Child Seat Inspection Station Locator to help with installation of your seats.

    American Academy of Pediatrics
    Healthy Children is a parenting Web site backed by 60,000 pediatricians committed to the attainment of optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. Ideal, whether you're looking for general information related to child health or for more specific guidance on parenting issues.

    Injury Free Coalition of Kids
    The Injury Free Coalition for Kids is among the country's fastest growing and most effective injury prevention programs. They are comprised of hospital-based, community-oriented programs, whose efforts are anchored in research, education, and advocacy.