SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Every day, thousands of parents and caregivers in California travel with children in their vehicle. During Child Passenger Safety Week, September 23-29, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) will work with its traffic safety partners throughout the state to make sure all children are riding safely.
In a nationwide study, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that two out of three car seats are misused. Motor vehicle collisions are a leading killer of children, and NHTSA data shows that such fatalities are on the rise, with 2016 being the deadliest for children under the age of 13 riding in vehicles.
Parents and caregivers can prevent such tragedies by learning the proper use of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts. For example, NHTSA has reported one-fourth of children age four to seven are using seat belts when they should still be riding in booster seats. Child passenger safety experts and the CHP advise that children be kept in an appropriate child seat until they reach the upper height and weight allowed by the car seat manufacturer.
California law requires that all children under the age of two, weighing under 40 pounds and under 40 inches tall, to ride in a rear- facing car seat. All children under the age of eight must ride in the back seat in an age-appropriate safety seat. Safety experts recommend that all children ride in the back seat until the age of 13. For more information about child passenger safety, visit https://www.chp.ca.gov/Programs-Services/Programs/Child-Safety-Seats.
“Children rely on their parents and caregivers to keep them safe during every single trip,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “The CHP will help you make sure you are using the right car seat, installed correctly. The consequences of misused or unused car seats can be disastrous.”
At child safety seat events held statewide September 23-29, CHP Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technicians will provide safety seat inspections, education, and hands-on training for parents and caregivers. September 29 is National Seat Check Saturday. Free inspections by CPS technicians are also available year-round, by appointment, at any CHP Area office.
The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.