Car Seat Safety
Your local health department can help you access a free or low-cost car seat to help keep your children safe. To qualify for the Car Seat Safety program and to get a free or low-cost car seat, you may be required to:
- Be a county resident
- Be the child’s legal guardian
- Be a recipient of WIC, Medicaid or TANF
- Participate in car seat training class and have access to your vehicle on the day of the class
There are some exceptions to these requirements. Contact your county’s health department to find out what your exact requirements are, and to register for the next Car Seat Safety class!
Car Seat Checkup: Five Things To Check At Home
Please read the vehicle and car seat instruction manuals to help you with this checklist. If you have any trouble or any questions, call your local health department or visit www.safekids.org to find a certified child passenger safety technician in your area.
- Right seat. Check the label on your car seat and make sure it’s appropriate for your child’s age, weight and height. Check the expiration date on the label to make sure your car seat is still safe.
- Right place. Make sure that your car seat is installed in the back seat. Children should always ride in the back seat until they are 13 years old.
- Right direction. Keep your child in a rear-facing car seat until at least age two. When he or she outgrows the seat, move your child to a forward-facing car seat and make sure to attach the top tether after you tighten and lock the seat belt or lower attachments.
- Inch test. Once your car seat is installed, give it a good shake at the base. A properly installed seat won’t move more than an inch.
- Pinch test. Make sure the harness is tightly buckled and coming from the correct slots (check your car seat manual to be sure). Now, with the chest clip placed at armpit level, pinch the strap at your child’s shoulder. If you can’t pinch any excess webbing, you’re good to go.
Car Seat Safety Video
Watch this short video to learn what type of car seat your child should have, how to install it, and how to buckle your children in correctly.