Child Passenger Safety

Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for children in Washington. Over 85% of all child passenger restraint devices are misused, yet 60% of all children killed in traffic crashes were completely unrestrained.

To learn more about which restraint system is best for your child, go to http://www.usa.safekids.org/skbu/cps/index.html

Washington’s Child Restraint Law will change on June 1, 2007 to require:

• Children under 13 years old are transported in the back seat where it is practical to do so.

• Children up to their 8th birthday, unless they are 4’9” tall (57 inches,) are transported in a child restraint system. (For example a child car seat, booster seat, vest or other restraint that is federally approved for use in the car.)

• The restraint system must be used according to the car seat AND vehicle manufacturer’s instructions.

• Vehicles equipped with lap-only seat belts are exempt from the requirement to use a booster seat.

• Children 8-years of age or at least 4’9” who wear a seat belt MUST use it correctly. (NOT under the arm or behind the back.)

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, American Academy of Pediatrics and Central Pierce Fire & Rescue "Best Practice" Recommendations:

• Infants need to remain rear facing until at least one year AND at least 20 lbs.

• Keep the child in the convertible seat as long as they fall within the height/weight recommendations for the seat. Be careful not to graduate your child to the next seat too soon.

• Booster seats, used with lap and shoulder belts, are recommended until the child is eight (8) years old unless they are 4' 9" tall. Be cautious not to graduate your child to a seat belt too soon.

• Children 12 and under are safer in the back seat regardless of the presence of an air bag.

• Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines for both the safety seat and the vehicle

Contact Mary Bridge Hospital or Good Samaritan for car seat inspection. For more information in English and Spanish click here. Specific Fire Departments are servicing those living their responding jurisdictions.