Published On: Wed, Sep 21st, 2016

Car Seat 101: Is Your Child in the Right Seat and Strapped in Safely?

This is a guest blog post from the Highway Safety Division (HSD) of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS).

September 18 marked the start of Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Week across the country.

This period promotes awareness to parents and caregivers about the importance of car seats and how to ensure their child’s safety on the road. To usher in CPS Week in Massachusetts, the Highway Safety Division has launched a new car seat safety website in English and Spanish to help parents and caregivers find the right car seat for their child and connect them with resources available in their community.

Why Are Car Seats So Important?

Car crashes are a leading cause of injury-related death for children 14 and under across the United States. When installed and used correctly, car seats can reduce fatal injuries by 71 percent among children under 1 and 54 percent among toddlers, ages 1–4. Booster seats can limit serious injuries by 45 percent for children ages 4–8.

But too many parents and caregivers are still unknowingly putting their children at risk — 3 out of 4 car seats are installed incorrectly. One of the most common issues is that the seat is wrong for their child’s size or age.

How Can I Ensure My Child’s Seat Is Installed Correctly?

There are a few ways you can make sure your child is in the right seat and is strapped in safely:

  • Check Online — You can find tips on selecting and installing car seats on HSD’s new website, including videos to help you install car seats.
  • Get Help from a CPS Technician — Visit the car seat inspection site locator to make an appointment with a Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Technician or locate a car seat checkup event happening near you. It’s free, and you can have your child’s car and booster seat checked for proper installation, have a new seat installed in your vehicle, or have any questions answered by a trained CPS Technician.

Make sure your child is riding in a correctly installed car seat that’s appropriate for their age and size during CPS Week and all year round.

Tweet @MAHighwaySafety or call the Massachusetts Child Passenger Safety Information Line at (877) 392-5956 with questions about car seat safety.

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