Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 2 to 12 in the United States. But car seats and booster seats—when used and installed correctly—can significantly reduce the risk of injury and death.
Properly installed and used, car seats reduce the risk of fatal injuries by as much as 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers. Unfortunately, national studies show that as many as 90 percent of car seats are not installed or used correctly.
Because of the variety of cars and car seat designs, car seats can be complicated to install and use. To make sure your child's car seat is safe, make an appointment with a child passenger safety technician in your area. You can find a technician or inspection station online on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Web site (www.nhtsa.dot.gov) or by calling your local police department.
Guidelines for car seat safety:
Children ages 12 and younger should ride properly restrained in the back seat, which is the safest place for children.