Every single time a child rides in a vehicle, they should be correctly restrained in a child safety seat that is appropriate for their age, height, and weight. The leading cause of death from children ages 3-14 is a car crash, and over half of those children were unrestrained or improperly restrained in the vehicle. Child safety seats decrease the risk of a fatal injury by 71% among infants and 54% among toddlers, but 95% of child safety seats in the United States are installed incorrectly by caregivers. This is why it’s so important to take the time to research your child safety seat and vehicle to make sure that you are correctly restraining your child. Proper restraint includes choosing the correct seat for you child based on their age, height, and weight. The resources below will assist you in choosing the correct seat for your child and making sure they are properly restrained in that seat.
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- Low Income Safety Seat Program — Free child safety seats and booster seats are available for income eligible children.
- Find a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician — Child Passenger Safety Technicians can check to make sure your car seats are installed correctly, and teach you how to use and install a car seat on your own.
- Virginia Car Seat Check Stations — Visit a Safety Seat Check Station for an interactive car seat installation experience, checking for proper fit, expiration, and recalls.
Free Training Courses from the Institute for Childhood Preparedness
- Protecting Children: Selection, Installation, & Use of Child Car Seats
- Protecting Children: Preventing Deaths from Hot Cars
Resources from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Car Seat Recall List — Find out if your child’s car seat has been recalled.
- NHTSA Find and Compare Car Seats — Use the information on this page to help you choose the type of car seat that best meets your child’s needs.
- Keeping Kids Safe — A parent’s guide to protecting children in and around cars.
- Child Safety — An overview of vehicle dangers, how to avoid them, and safety tips.
Car Safety Products
- Clever Elly — Clever Elly is a device that plugs into your car’s power port and will remind your to check the back seat every time the car is turned off and the door is opened.
- Car Seat Co-Pilot — Car Seat Co-Pilot is a seatbelt sensor that clips to the straps of your child’s car seat. When you exit the car without your baby, the alarm will beep to let you know.
- BabyIn BabyOut — A two-sided hangtag to visually remind parents and caregivers that baby is in the car.
- The Ultimate Car Seat Guide — from Safe Kids Worldwide
- Car Seat Safety Tips — from Safe Kids Worldwide
- Car Seats: Information for Families — from HealthyChildren.org