Child Passenger Safety Week: It’s Not Just About Kids Car Seats

Are your kids car seats properly installed? Are they up to date? Are you protecting your kids from other dangers? Here's our checklist for Child Passenger Safety Week

Car Crashes Are The Leading Cause Of Death For Children, As Well As Non-Crash-Related Injuries. Car Safety Seats Help To Keep Children Safe In Cars.

Your most precious cargo is counting on you.

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children.This is why Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week (September 17-23) is necessary. It is an annual observation to raise awareness of the importance of car safety and kids car seats. This is the perfect time to encourage parents and caregivers to ensure the safety of their children by making sure they are properly secured in the correct car safety seat for their age, height, and weight. Most injuries and deaths can be prevented through the proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts. Below are ways you can ensure your child’s safety when on the road.

Related: “Safe Enough” is Not Enough When It Comes to Infant and Child Passenger Safety

Child Being Strapped Into Car Safety Seat

Infant seats and toddler seats are different. Know when to make the switch. Photo:Canva

Keep Them Safe and Secure in the Right Car Seat

We’ve all probably heard our elders say they never used seat belts or car seats back in their day and nothing ever happened. But why take the risk? Proper safety restraints can drastically reduce the likelihood of serious injury or death during a traffic accident. In fact, when in a car accident, a car seat can reduce infant fatality risk by 71%. Make sure your children are in car safety seats – a booster or infant seat that is appropriate for their height and weight.

For kids older than 12, make sure they are always wearing their seatbelts. While it feels like the coming of age to sit up front like an adult, the backseat is safest for children 12 and under. Why? Airbags. Airbags can save the lives of older children and adults, but they can be fatal for younger children when seated in the front seat. Also, you must never place a rear-facing car seat in a front seat near an airbag. It can be fatal.

Related: The Ultimate Car Seat Challenge: 3-Row SUVs

Car Seat Being Installed Into A Car

Knowing how to properly install your car seat is half the battle. A professional can teach you how. Photo: Canva

Have Your Child’s Car Seat Checked by a Professional

National Seat Check Saturday, which takes place the Saturday during Child Passenger Safety Awareness week ( for 2022 it’s Saturday Sept 24) , is the best time to get your child’s car seat checked by a professional. On this day, parents and caregivers can get one-on-one personalized instruction on how to properly use their child’s car seat from a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST). Don’t fret if you don’t have time on this day to have your child’s car seat checked. CPSTs are available year-round who can check to make sure your child’s car seats are installed correctly, and provide one-on-one education on how to use and install a car seat on your own.

Below are where you can find nationally certified child passenger safety technicians near you.

  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – there is a directory of car seat inspection stations. 
  • Safe Kids Coalition Safety Event – Safe Kids coalitions host more than 8,000 free car seat inspection events across the country where their trained technicians will teach you everything you need to know to make sure your car seat is installed and used correctly. 
  • National CPS Certification Program – you can locate child passenger safety technicians in your area through their online form
Child Car Safety Goes Beyond Car Seats Check For Recalls

Open up the recall notice. It could save your child’s life. Photo: Canva

Check For Expiration Dates and Recalls

Did you know that car seats expire? Car safety seats typically last anywhere from six to 10 years. Make sure you check the expiration date set by the manufacturer of the seat being used. This is especially important when using a seat second-hand.

Speaking of second-hand car seats. You want to avoid using a seat that was installed in a vehicle that was in an accident. Since there’s no real way of knowing this, try avoiding using thrifted child safety seats. There are affordable child safety seat options and trade-in programs to ensure you’re getting the safest car seat for your child.

Recalls are just as important when it comes to child passenger safety. Be sure to register your car seat so that you are alerted should a recall occur. Also, keep up with recalls for your vehicle as well.

Related: Do You Need to Replace Child Car Seats After an Accident?

Child Car Safety Child Hanging Out Window

Keeping our kids safe is our number one priority. Photo:Canva

Protecting Children from Non-Crash-Related Injuries is Important Too

Non-crash-related injuries, such as heat stroke, seatbelt entanglement, power window incidents and more can also occur with child passengers. 

Here are tips to help keep them protected.

  • Look before you lock – Set a reminder to check your backseat when you exit it to prevent heat-related deaths
  • Safeguard keys – Keep your keys in a safe place where children can’t access them to prevent unattended access to your vehicle
  • Driveway play is not okay – teach your kids not to play around cars or on the driveway. Keeping toys away from the driveway can help. Move play time to the yard to keep it safe.
  • Lock power windows – teach kids to not play with their windows and keep them locked to avoid injuries to fingers and limbs.
  • Never leave kids alone in the car! All non-crash injuries can be avoided if children are monitored in or near a vehicle. 

Child passenger safety is not just about car seats. It goes beyond that. Teaching vehicle safety will go many miles to help keep children safe. Vehicle accidents and injuries can happen in a minute seriously injuring or killing your child. Take advantage of the resources available to keep children safe in your car and on the road.

More Child Passenger Safety resources below:

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Kim Smith is a 30-something-year-old wife and do-it-all mom of two beautiful daughters; her rainbow babies. As if working... More about Kim S.

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