September 17 – 23, 2023
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death and injury for children According to national data, 46% of car seats are misused. Research shows that children are being placed in the wrong car seat for their age and size and the car seat is being installed improperly. Sadly, two children under 13 years of age were killed every day in 2021 while riding in vehicles, and it is estimated that another 318 were injured. The best way for parents and caregivers to keep children safe in vehicles is to select and use the right car seat for the child’s age and size until the child is ready to use the vehicle lap and shoulder belt.
Planning an Event for Child Passenger Safety Week?
Child Passenger Safety Week provides the opportunity to teach parents to make the correct choices to keep the entire family safe. Events are being planned to raise awareness about the need to secure children safely in a vehicle on every trip, every time. Every parent wants to protect their children and keep them safe. Children are safest when correctly secured in the right car seats or booster seats for their ages and sizes — no matter the vehicle type.
The 2023 Child Passenger Safety Week theme, “Car Seat Safety Comes in Many Shapes and Sizes,” highlights the importance of selecting a size-appropriate car seat for every child and using it correctly every time. Most parents think they are using their car seats correctly to protect their children and keep them safe. Child Passenger Safety Week is the time to check that children are as safe as possible when they are riding in a vehicle.
- Recommendations are based on decades of research that have shown the safest way for children to ride in vehicles.
- Keep children rear-facing as long as possible, up to the top height and weight allowed by their particular seats.
- Once a child outgrows a rear-facing car seat, the child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether. The tether is 100% essential for installing a forward-facing car seat; it keeps the seat from moving forward in a crash.
- After a child outgrows the forward-facing car seat, the child should be buckled in a booster seat until the adult seat belt fits the child properly.
- A children might ask to use the seat belt instead of a booster seat because it makes them feel older to ride without it, but the truth is: their safety is what matters most.
- Once your child is ready to use a seat belt, ensure that it fits correctly, and remember that the safest place for all kids under 13 is buckled up in the back seat.
Pennsylvania’s Occupant Protection Law for Children
- All children from birth to age 4 must be secured in a car seat anywhere in the vehicle.
- Children younger than age 2 must be secured rear-facing, until they outgrow the maximum weight and height of the car seat.
- All children 4 years of age and older, but less than 8 years, must be secured in a seat belt and an appropriate booster seat anywhere in the vehicle.
- All children 8 years of age and older, but less than 18 years of age, must be secured in a seat belt system anywhere in the vehicle.
- All drivers are responsible for securing children in the appropriate car seat, booster seat, or seat belt.
Child Passenger Safety Week, is a time for parents to make sure children are in the right car seat and that it is being used correctly—every trip, every time. The single most effective way to protect children, and all vehicle occupants, is to correctly buckle all passengers in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt that is appropriate for their age and size. Most parents think they are using their car seats correctly to protect their children and keep them safe. Child Passenger Safety Week is a time when parents can attend one of the car seat check events, scheduled throughout the State, to be certain children are as safe as possible when they are riding in a vehicle. Car seat check events provide hands-on guidance on the correct selection, installation and use of the appropriate car seat, booster seat, or seat belt based on a child’s age, weight, height, and developmental needs.
For more information about the correct selection, installation, and use of a car seat or to request materials, please call 1-800 CAR BELT.