Car Seat Program
It is important to remember these guidelines when selecting and installing a child safety seat:
- It must be appropriate for your child’s age, height and weight.
- It must fit tightly into your vehicle and not move more than 1 inch from side to side and front to back at the belt path.
- The back seat is the best place for the child safety seat.
- Use either the vehicle’s seat belt OR the vehicle’s LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) to secure the child’s safety seat (never use both).
- See RESOURCES below for more information.
- Airbags deploy at the speed of a Category 5 hurricane and can cause serious injury or death. Never put infants or children younger than 13 years of age in the front seat with an active airbag.
- Always refer to the child safety seat instructions and vehicle manufacturer’s instructions for weight limits, proper use and installation.
- Avoid seats that are too old. All manufacturers are required to include the model number and manufacture date on each seat they produce. It can be found on a label attached to the restraint usually on the bottom or the side of the seat. Most manufacturers recommend replacing any child safety seat over 6 years old.
- New child safety seats have a registration card. Register your child’s safety seat with the manufacturer so you can be notified of any recall. To register, mail your registration card to the manufacturer, or register on the manufacturer’s website. Specific manufacturer websites to register your child’s safety seat can be found at: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/register/childseat/index.cfm
- Rolled up receiving blankets can be used on either side of an infant to provide support. Position receiving blankets from the top of the hips to the top of the head to provide support. Do not put rolled receiving blankets underneath the child’s head/neck.
- The top of a child’s head should be no closer than one inch to the top of the plastic shell (rear-facing seat/convertible seat only). Coverings may exceed the top of the plastic shell.
- Child safety seats should be positioned at the appropriate angle. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the correct angle for the child seat you are using.
- Some child safety seats provide shoulder pads that can be added to the shoulder straps. If used, the pads must be properly positioned on top of the child’s shoulders.
- Children should never wear backpacks in the vehicle. Backpacks can limit the effectiveness of the restraint system.