Kid's Car Safety


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Kids’s Car Safety Brochure Text
Joy Miller, CPST

Some Facts:
8 out of 10 car seats are used incorrectly.
- Patterns of misuse of Child safety Seats, DOT HS 808 440

Motor Vehicle Crashes are the leading cause of all unintentional childhood injury deaths in the US.

Booster seats reduce injury to 4-8 yr olds by 59%.

General Car Seat Guidelines:
* Harness straps should always be snug. You should not be able to "pinch" the straps together when tightened.
* The car seat should have less than 1" of movement at the belt path when installed correctly
* The seatbelt should be locked when any harnessed seat is installed in your vehicle
*Always read the car seat AND vehicle manual and follow both manufacturers instructions!

Infants must be rear-facing to a minimum of 20 lbs AND 12 months. Safety experts and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children stay rear-facing to the limits of their convertible seat, which is usually between 30-35 lbs or when the child's head is less than 1" from the top of the seat shell. Many children can rear-face past two years of age. The harness straps should always be in the slot that is at or below the child's shoulders when rear-facing. Good things to look for in any harnessed seat are: A five-point harness, a front adjuster, and harness slots tall enough to last through the expected life of the seat.

Toddlers should be rear-facing as long as possible, but once they exceed the rear-facing limits of their seat they should be forward-facing in a five-point harness until 40 lbs and at least 4 years old depending on maturity. Look for a convertible or combination seat with tall harness slots, and possibly even a weight limit higher than 40 lbs. The straps should always be in a slot that is at or above the child's shoulders for forward- facing.

Pre-school and Beyond:
The safest option is always being in a five-point harness, especially until the child is 40 lbs and old enough to sit correctly in a booster seat for the duration of every trip. There are options to harness children up to 80 lbs. If your child is ready for a booster, then look for a high-back booster that keeps the lap-belt low on hips and the shoulder belt across the shoulder. If you only have lap belts there are other options, but never use a booster with only a lap belt. Low-back boosters are an okay option for older kids, but a high-back provides significant protection in side-impact collisions, which are the most deadly. All kids should be in boosters until they are about 4'9" tall, and pass the 5 step test in the vehicle they are riding in.

Ready for no seat? The “Five Step Test”
*Does the child sit all the way back in the vehicle seat?
*Can their legs bend comfortably over the edge of the seat?
*Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and the arm?
*Is the lap belt low on the child's hips, NOT abdomen?
*Can the child stay seated like this the entire trip?


Printed information is never a substitute for a personal consultation or your owner’s manual. Please contact me or another technician if you have any car safety questions.
Joy Miller
Child Passenger Safety Technician

To contact another technician in the US:


New member
Yes, I will try to find a way to post it or email it to those who are interrested once I figure out the computer logistics of it. I used Print Shop to design it because I am familiar with that program, but that means that I have to convert it to a PDF or other format for everyone to use it.

I figured out how to convert it in Microsoft paint, but it wasn't good quality and cut off the bottom :-(


Well-known member
If you have or know someone who has an Epson 3-in-1 printer, the scaner gives you the option of saving something you scan as a PDF. It's limited to one page, but it's a start.


New member
Joy, I'd love to pass this out to a "moms and twins" class I'm taking. Did you ever figure out how to put it into pdf form? If not, would you mind if I just cut and pasted your text into Word and printed from there?

Also, would it be all right if I added something about using after-market products? The biggest misuse I spy in the class is headrests that obviously didn't come with the seats. I'm thinking of adding a bullet under General Car Seat Guidelines:

* Other than clothing and a light jacket, do not use anything between your child and the seat or harness that did not come with the seat. No head support? Use a rolled-up blanket. Cold? Use a "shower-cap" style cover or a blanket.
Last edited:


New member
Okay, I emailed it to those who asked for it- finally.

I'm also going to be getting some printed at the end of this month. If anyone wants some (only my cost + shipping media mail) please let me know how many and you can paypal me before I meail them. They will be off my original copy, and it's pretty good quality.
I can send you the ones like emailed that don't have my info on them. (Mine have my contact info on the back!)

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You must read your carseat and vehicle owner’s manual and understand any relevant state laws. These are the rules you must follow to restrain your children safely. All opinions at Car-Seat.Org are those of the individual author for informational purposes only, and do not necessarily reflect any policy or position of Carseat Media LLC. Car-Seat.Org makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. If you are unsure about information provided to you, please visit a local certified technician. Before posting or using our website you must read and agree to our TERMS.

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