Child Passenger Safety
Halt | December 30, 2022 | 0 Comments

An Introduction to Child Passenger Safety Standards

Having child passengers can be a bit challenging. Unlike adults, they cannot sit still for long periods and, most of the time, will not be buckled up. This has led to increased fatalities in children during road accidents.

Fortunately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently provided more secure and comprehensive guidelines regarding child safety on the roads.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 607 children below 12 years were killed in car crashes in 2020. 38 percent of these children were not buckled up during the accident.

Further reports from the CDC also showed that seatbelt use in both children and adults reduced the risk of fatalities and severe injuries by 50 percent. Additionally, proper use of booster seats for children between 4-8 years reduced the risk of severe injuries by 45 percent compared to seatbelt use alone.

Parents and guardians with children below the age of 12 are advised to ensure that their children are properly buckled in a car seat or a booster seat, depending on their age. Below are tips to help determine the appropriate seat for your child.

Rear-Facing Car Seats

toddler in a car seat

This type of car seat is used for toddlers below the age of four. The rear-facing seat should always be placed in the back seat, never in the front, as airbag deployment during crashes could injure or kill children. Ensure that you comply with the seat’s specified weight and limit requirements.

Forward-Facing Car Seats

Older children who can no longer fit in the rear-facing car seats are buckled in this type of seat with a harness and a top tether in the back seat. Again, ensure the child meets this seat’s weight and height requirements.

Booster Seats

Booster Seats

Booster seats are recommended for children that have outgrown forward-facing car seats. This typically happens between the ages of 9-12.

It ensures that the seat belt fits properly by running across the upper thighs and center of the shoulder. Seat belt fits vary from vehicle to vehicle. Thus, you can confirm if your child passengers need booster seats by checking the seatbelts

If the seatbelts are firm enough without the booster seat, the child can now use the car seat belt. However, as mentioned, seat belt fit may vary. Always confirm that the child does not need a booster seat before heading out.

Additional Safety Tips

kid in a car

  • Never place children’s seats in the front, as airbag deployment could kill them.
  • Buckle children in the middle of the back seat to reduce injuries from T-bone crashes.
  • Ensure your child is always buckled up, no matter how short the trip is.
  • Buckle up yourself.
  • Observe traffic rules when driving. Observe the speed limit and avoid distracted driving.


Child safety in vehicles is becoming a major concern. Always ensure that your child uses an appropriate seat, depending on age, weight, and height. Ask for help from certified child passenger safety technicians to help install these seats correctly.

The CDC is working toward strengthening laws safeguarding children in vehicles. It also advocates for car seat distribution and hands-on training programs for parents.

You might still be involved in an accident despite all safety measures. “If you or your child is injured during a crash, hire an attorney to help you receive compensation for any damages caused,” says Felix Gonzalez of Felix Gonzalez Accident & Injury Law Firm.

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