- Always put your baby in a car seat when traveling.
- Your child should be in a rear-facing seat in the back seat from birth to at least one year old and at least 20 pounds.
- As your child grows, he should be in a forward-facing toddler seat in the back seat from age one and 20 pounds to about age four and 40 pounds.
- Booster seats are a must and should remain in the back seat from about age four to at least age eight, unless 4’9” tall.
- Safety belts should be used at all times at age eight and older or taller than 4 feet, 9 inches. All children age 12 and under should ride in the back seat.
Seat belts are not designed for small children. We recommend when a child is about age four, a booster seat should be used to raise your child up so the safety belt fits better.
About 50 children a week in the United States are injured from incidents where they were left in a vehicle unattended.
Dangers to children after being left alone in cars can include:
- Heat stroke/death.
- Strangulation in a car window.
- Injury from being backed over or setting a car in motion.
- Abduction by a stranger.
- Trunk entrapment.
Safety tips for parents and caregivers:
- Check the backseat before getting out of the car.
- Place an item you will need – purse, diaper bag, gym bag – in the back seat where the child is sitting.
- Teach children not to play in and around cars.
- Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle even with the window slightly open.
- Keep keys and remote entry devices out of the reach of children. Lock the car and trunk, especially at home.
- Walk all the way around your parked vehicle to check for children before getting in the car and starting the engine.
- Make sure young children are accompanied by an adult when getting in and out of a vehicle
- Identify safe play areas for children – away from vehicles.
- Teach children that trunks are only used to transport cargo and are not safe places to play.
- If you car has a trunk release, show your children where it is and how to use it.
- If a child is missing, check the vehicle trunk immediately.