Post Content

As parents, we want to do everything we can in our power to protect our children. Using a car seat (child safety seat) is the best protection you can give your child when traveling by car. Child safety seats can substantially reduce the risk of a potentially fatal injury.

car safetyThe best car seat is not always the most expensive one — it’s the one that best fits a child’s weight, size, and age, as well as your vehicle. Different types of car seats are required for children of different ages.

Birth through Age 2:  Rear-facing child safety seat. For the best possible protection, infants and children should be kept in a rear-facing child safety seat, in the back seat buckled with the seat’s harness, until they reach the upper weight or height limits of their particular seat. The weight and height limits on rear-facing child safety seats can accommodate most children through age 2, check the seat’s owner’s manual for details.

Between Ages 2-4/Until 40 lbsForward-facing child safety seat. When children outgrow their rear-facing seats (the weight and height limits on rear-facing car seats can accommodate most children through age 2) they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in the back seat buckled with the seat’s harness, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of their particular seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds; many newer seats have higher weight limits-check the seat’s owner’s manual for details).

Between Ages 4-8 OR Until 4’9″ TallBooster seat. Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats (by reaching the upper height and weight limits of their seat), they should ride in belt positioning booster seats. Remember to keep children in the back seat for the best possible protection.

Remember: All children younger than 13 years should ride in the back seat. Never place a child in the front seat facing an airbag.

Use the safety tips below when choosing and using a car seat.

  • Seventy-three percent of car seats are not used or installed correctly, so before you hit the road, check your car seat. Here’s a quick car seat checklist to help you out. It takes only 15 minutes. If you are having even the slightest trouble, questions or concerns, certified child passenger safety technicians are able to help or even double check your work.
  • Buy a used car seat only if you know its full crash history. That means you must buy it from someone you know, not from a thrift store or over the Internet. Once a car seat has been in a crash, it needs to be replaced.
  • We know that when adults wear seat belts, kids wear seat belts. So be a good example and buckle up for every ride. Be sure everyone in the vehicle buckles up, too.
  • Never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. While it may be tempting to dash out for a quick errand, the temperature inside your car can rise 20 degrees and cause heatstroke in the time it takes for you to run in and out of the store.

For more information about child passenger safety including selecting and installing a child safety seat, please visit http://www.mass.gov/eopss/crime-prev-personal-sfty/traffic-safety/cps/.

Written By:


Health and Human Service Coordinator

Tags: , ,

Recent Posts

Elevating the Essential Workforce posted on Apr 11

Elevating the Essential Workforce

Written by Emily Sparer-Fine, Director of the Occupational Health and Surveillance Program Essential workers encompass a wide variety of occupations, many of which are familiar to us: health care workers, police, fire and other emergency personnel, transit workers and grocery workers, while other workers equally   …Continue Reading Elevating the Essential Workforce

Uplifting Mental Health and Wellness posted on Apr 10

Uplifting Mental Health and Wellness

Written by Nicole Schmitt of the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services To address the needs of individuals at high risk for overdose and other medical complications associated with substance use, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) Bureau of Substance Addiction Services awarded contracts to   …Continue Reading Uplifting Mental Health and Wellness

Building COVID-19 Resilience for Families of Children with Special Health Needs posted on Apr 9

Building COVID-19 Resilience for Families of Children with Special Health Needs

Written by Elaine Gabovitch of the Bureau of Family Health and Nutrition Emergency care plans (ECPs) are important tools that families of children with special health needs can use to prepare for their children’s safety and wellbeing during COVID-19 and other health related emergencies. Having   …Continue Reading Building COVID-19 Resilience for Families of Children with Special Health Needs