I’m one of those moms who’s extra-paranoid about car seat safety. My younger sister was killed in a car accident in 2000, when she was 18 years old. Even though she was an adult, the loss of my sister is a daily reminder of how one second on the road can change your life forever. I won’t even drive my kids the one block to my mother-in-law’s house without securing them in their car seats – making sure the seat/base itself is secure; chest clip at the proper place, straps tightened, etc. But all that safety-consciousness wouldn’t be as effective (or possibly effective at all) if my kids were in the wrong seats in the first place. So how do you make sure your child is in the correct seat?
For most of us, grabbing our gear and running out to the car and heading to appointments, play dates, work and daycare are a regular every day thing. When we have little ones, we put them in their car seat and buckle them up without a second thought to whether or not they are in the right seat. We trust that they are safe – and we go on our way.
Unfortunately, that may not be the case. Every 33 seconds a child under 13 is involved in a car crash in the United States! Car seats, if used correctly, can dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury. But over half of car seats are misused in a way that could reduce their effectiveness and 1 in 3 children killed in car crashes are completely unrestrained at the time of the crash.
Can you imagine? Thinking that your child is in the right car seat, only to find out that they aren’t!
So what do you choose? Infant, convertible, or booster seat? Finding the right car seat and installing it correctly is no easy task. Then there’s the question of when to transition your child to another type of car seat.
Step 1 -> Find the right car seat based on:
- Car Seat Types
Learn about the four types of car seats.
- Age & Size Recommendations (from birth to age 13)
Follow these recommendations for selecting a car seat based on your child’s age and size.
- Find a Car Seat
Compare car seat makes and models using our Car Seat Finder tool.
- Car Seat Ease-of-Use Ratings
Evaluate car seat features using our car seat ease-of-use ratings.
Step 2 -> Install your car seat correctly
- Follow these car seat installation tips to keep your child safe.
Step 3 -> Register your car seat
- Don’t delay—register your car seat today to receive car seat and booster seat recall notices.
Step 4 -> Get recall notifications on your car seat
- Sign up to receive e-mail alerts about car seat and booster seat recalls from NHTSA.
Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. Many times deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts. By working with the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) we hope to get out a message that will educate parents and caregivers about the importance of selecting the right seat for their child’s age and size, and to remind them that car seats, booster seats and seat belts offer the best protection for children in crashes and help save lives.
Get this message out to your friends and family!
- Twitter – Many parents do not realize their child is in the wrong car seat. Visit Safercar.gov/TheRightSeat and make sure your child is riding safely. #therightseat.
- Facebook – Storks know how to keep kids safe. Do you? Visit safercar.gov/therightseat to know for sure that your child is in the right seat for their age and size. #STORKS #TheRightSeat