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Child Passenger Safety

Keeping your precious cargo safe

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 1-14 in the United States. CHOC Child Passenger Safety Technicians can answer your car seat questions regarding current California Law on restraining children in the car, best practices, how to select an appropriate seat for your child, and what you need to know to use and install your child restraint correctly.

Please call Community Education at 714-509-8887

Click here for more information on Child Passenger Safety from the American Academy of Pediatrics

More ways to keep your precious cargo safe.

Car Seat Inspections

Parents may schedule a car seat inspection with one of the program’s experienced Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians. At the individual appointment, parents are educated on identified problems with the use and installation of their child safety seat.

Fee: Free car seat inspections are done monthly throughout Orange County.

Information: Appointment required, please call 714-509-8887 to schedule an appointment.


Child Safety Seat Distribution Program

The Child Safety Seat Distribution Program assists parents who, for financial reasons, are unable to provide a safe, appropriate car seat or booster seat for the child or children. Following an initial assessment, the parents are scheduled for a distribution class which includes education on the use and installation of the seat, as well as current information about California Laws regarding restraining children during transport.

Fee: $30 per car seat

Information: Must be a CHOC patient. A referral from a CHOC health care provider is required for parents requesting to participate in the low-cost child safety seat distribution program. Assessment and appointment is required: 714-509-8887


Bilingual Services

All CPS Program services are available in Spanish.

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Child Passenger Safety Tips

Download the Tip Sheet: English | Spanish
Download Car Seat Tips for Children in Casts: English | Spanish

Car crashes are the #1 preventable cause of death of children and young adults. They are also a major cause of permanent brain damage, epilepsy, and spinal cord injuries. Many of the deaths and injuries can be prevented with the proper use of child restraints and seat belts.

KNOW THE LAW:

Children under age 8 must be properly buckled into a car seat or booster in the back seat.  Children under 2 years old must be rear-facing  (facing backwards) unless they weigh 40 pounds or  more, or are 40 inches tall or more. Children age 8 or older or 4’9” in height may use the vehicle  seat belt if it fits properly with the lap belt  low on the hips, touching  the upper thighs, and the  shoulder belt crossing the center  of the chest. If children are not  tall enough for proper belt fit,  they must ride in a booster or car seat. Everyone  in the car must be properly buckled up. For each  child under 16 who is not properly secured, parents (if in the car) or drivers can be fined more than $475 and get a point on their driving records.  It’s against California law to leave a child who is 6 years of age or younger alone in the car with out the supervision of a person at least 12 years  old.

KNOW THE STAGES:

Stage 1: Rear-facing car seat
Facing the rear is the safest way for a baby or toddler to ride. Keep toddlers in a rear-facing convertible car seat until age 2, or until they reach the maximum weight or height for their seat. The harness straps should be snug and placed at or below the shoulder level.

Stage 2: Forward-facing car seat with harness
Children should use a forward-facing car seat for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by the manufacturer. The harness straps should be snug and placed at or above the shoulder level.

Stage 3: Booster seat with lap-shoulder belt
All children must use a booster seat until the seat belt fits properly. Most children need to ride in a booster seat from about age 4 until age 10-12.

Stage 4: Lap-shoulder belt
All children younger than 13 should ride in the back seat. The shoulder belt must lie across the chest (not touching the neck or throat). The lap belt must be low across the upper thighs (not touching the stomach).

KNOW WHERE TO GET MORE INFORMATION

CHOC Children’s Community Education Department has staffed educators that are Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians and are available to answer questions and provide additional information.

When an accident happens, CHOC Children’s is ready with the only pediatric-dedicated emergency department and trauma center in Orange County. For more important tips to prevent injuries in children and teens, visit choc.org/safety.

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UC Irvine

CHOC Children's is affiliated with the UC Irvine School of Medicine