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.

Child Passenger Safety Classes

During this class, a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician will cover current California laws regarding restraining children in the car. Each type of seat will be reviewed (from infant seats to booster seats) to help parents/caregivers choose the appropriate seat for their child. How to use and correctly install different types of seats using vehicle safety belts and LATCH system will be explained.  This presentation can be brought to your community group. To schedule a visit, call 714-509-8887. This presentation is provided at no cost in English and Spanish.

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.

Click here for more child passenger safety resources in Orange County

Mom securing her child in a car seat

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.


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 without the supervision of a person at least 12 years old.


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).


CHOC 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 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