As families get ready to pack up and head out for the holidays, those traveling by car with young children should make sure they are practicing proper car seat safety before hitting the road.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends securing infants and toddlers in rear-facing car seats until at least the age of two. But in a 2011 NPCH Report, we found that nearly ¾ of parents turned their child’s car seat forward-facing before the child was two years old. 30% of parents reported turning their child forward-facing before the child reached one year of age. For older children who have outgrown a car seat, but are not big enough for an adult seat belt, booster seats are required in 48 states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In a 2010 NPCH Report, half of parents surveyed with children 4-8 years old didn’t know their state law regarding booster seat use.
So before you take off this holiday season, make sure your children are in the right safety seat for their height and weight and properly buckled in. If you aren’t sure or you’d like more information, visit seatcheck.org or call 1-866-seat-check to find a certified child passenger safety seat inspector near you.