MRO Magazine

Are You Taking the Proper Precautions for Your Child?

September 11, 2015
By Business Wire News


Every day, children are injured or killed from the improper use of safety restraints. Recent studies show that, even when both cars and safety seats meet all requirements, up to 40 percent cannot be fitted well enough to maximize safety and need extra adjustments. The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) aims to educate parents and caregivers on proper installation and use of their child’s car seat during Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 13-19.

“Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for children under age 13 and having the proper car seat or booster seat can make a big difference in a child’s safety,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “In 2013, 263 children under age five were saved because they were properly restrained. Car seats matter, and ensuring that children are in the correct car seat, and that it’s properly installed, is critical.”

Making sure that a child’s car seat is age – and size – appropriate, is one of the best ways of keeping them safe. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 39 percent of children under 13 who died in 2013 were unrestrained. In addition, around 24 percent of children aged four to seven were prematurely moved to seat belts instead of the proper restraint.

To support Child Passenger Safety Week, many communities are planning special events on National Seat Check Saturday, Sept. 19, to raise awareness about the importance of proper car seat fitting and to give hands-on instructions to parents and care-givers on how to protect children by correctly installing child safety seats.

Here are some tips to maximize the safety of young passengers:

  • Visit a local Child Car Seat Inspection Station where a certified technician will inspect the child car seat and can show correct installation and use. To find a local inspection station, contact your local California Highway Patrol office or use the Child Car Seat Inspection Station Locator at
  • To maximize safety, keep the child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
  • Always refer to the specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions; read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt and check height and weight limits.
  • Always remember to register the car seat and booster seat with the car seat manufacturer so there is notification in the event of a recall.
  • Car seats should always be replaced following a moderate or severe crash to ensure the highest level of crash protection.

California law requires that children be properly secured in the back seat in an appropriate safety or booster seat until they are at least eight years old or 4’9” tall. Additionally, all children should ride in the backseat at least through the age of 12.

OTS encourages parents and caregivers to take advantage of National Child Passenger Safety Week by visiting a local certified Child Passenger Safety Technician in their community during this week, as well as any time throughout the year. Fitting locations and more information on proper car seat installation can be found in the car seat section at For more information on other traffic safety related efforts, visit the California Office of Traffic Safety at, on Facebook at, or follow OTS on Twitter, at @OTS_CA.

California Office of Traffic Safety
Chris Cochran, 916-509-3063