It’s Child Passenger Safety Week

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on September 15, 2013

It’s Child Passenger Safety Week {Sept 15-21, 2013}, so Safety 1st and I wanted to offer another great giveaway!

Did you know that car crashes are the leading cause of death for children age 1 through 12 years old.? Based on NHTSA crash data in 2010, almost an average of 2 children (age 12 and younger in a passenger vehicle) were killed and 325 were injured each day. This fatality rate could be reduced by about half if the correct child safety seat were always used.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the goal of Child Passenger Safety week is to make sure all parents and caregivers are properly securing their children (ages 0-12) in the best car restraint (rear-facing, forward-facing, booster, seat belt) for their age and size.

Is your child in the right car seat? Know for sure!

Head over to NHTSA’s website to find a local car seat check in your area. Then, come on back and enter our Child Passenger Safety Week Reader Giveaway. One lucky reader will win:

The BoostAPak is designed to help keep kids in boosters longer, as it’s often hard to get an older child to stay in his or her booster seat. However, for children 4 to 7 years old, booster seats reduce injury risk by 59% compared to seat belts alone. (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).

Leave me a comment below, before September 30th, telling me how YOU know your child is in the right safety seat. Check out the tips below, – or better yet, have your seat/s checked by the pros!

Car Seat Safety Tips From Julie Vallese, Safety 1st Consumer Safety Expert


Importance of Rear Facing

In March of 2011 the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated their car seat recommendations advising that children should remain rear facing until the age of two, or until they reach the maximum height and weight requirements allowed by their car seat. According to a study in the Journal of Injury Prevention children under the age of two are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in the event of a car crash if they are rear facing. When a child is rear facing their head, neck and spine are better supported and in the event of an accident, crash forces are distributed over the child’s entire body.


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 75% of car seats are installed incorrectly.  Every car and car seat has different requirements for the safest installation so before you get started it is important to read both the car seat and car manual.

Typically the center rear seat is the safest place for a car seat, and never install a car seat in the front seat.  If your car does not have a latch connector for the middle seat, you can use the middle seat belt to properly secure the base.  When installing, make sure the base of the car seat moves no more than an inch from side to side. An easy way to test this is to hold at the belt path.

New parents and grandparents are encouraged to attend a car seat check before the baby is born.  However, don’t just rely on the experts. You’re likely going to be taking the car seat out and installing it somewhere else at some point, so make sure you’re comfortable with the process too.

Car Seat Expiration

Never use used or old car seats.  Car seats do have an expiration date and it is to understand the risks associated with using an expired or old car seat.  The reason for an expiration date is because plastic can warp and materials can fray, which can make car seats less safe to use.  Car seat technology and state and federal car seat regulations change.  A car seat deemed safe more than six years ago may no longer meet federal testing regulations.  Important warning labels may wear out and instruction books may get lost, which can lead to improper use of the car seat.

Disclosure: I am an official ambassador for Safety 1st and am being compensated for my time and efforts increating several posts, video reviews, and giveaways in the next few months. All opinions expressed are mine.

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Kelli EMGE September 16, 2013 at 8:02 am

We read the carseat and car manuals. They also check at the hospital, and we searched online for safety standards.

D SCHMIDT September 16, 2013 at 3:06 pm

We did a lot of research before purchasing seats for our children, we made sure we purchased ones that were suitable for extended rear facing and that had an easy installation

marian boll September 16, 2013 at 10:17 pm

This carseat will be used by my great granddaughter….I have been researching this ever since I learned of the new baby!!

Christine September 16, 2013 at 10:18 pm

We had our seats checked out not too long ago and they said we were the best they’d ever seen! That made me very pleased because I’m so OCD about my kids & their seats! :D

Julia September 16, 2013 at 10:28 pm

We don’t have a kid yet. I will get our car seat inspected before we bring our child home from the hospital for safety.

Adrienne Gordon September 17, 2013 at 6:23 am

I know my child is in the right seat by how comfortable it is.

Brooke Adametz September 17, 2013 at 2:35 pm

We always follow the height/ weight/ age laws and we read the reviews before purchasing a car seat.

adametzb at yahoo dot com
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Janet W. September 17, 2013 at 2:52 pm

We know my grandson is in the right car seat for him because we read the product manuals and guidelines. We also recently had it inspected at a local Safety Day event.

Maggie True Armstrong September 17, 2013 at 3:14 pm

We have ours checked at the local sheriff’s dept. everytime we get a a new seat! You can never be too careful with them.
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Irene Cypher September 17, 2013 at 6:53 pm

This would be for my grandson. My kids know what they’re doing when it comes to car seat rules and regulations.

Katie Roch September 17, 2013 at 7:04 pm

I KNOW by reading the label on the car seat. If the child is not the correct weight or does not fit into some other guideline for the car seat they are in the wrong seat. If the child fits all of the guidelines then they are in the right car seat.

Tamar September 17, 2013 at 10:11 pm

We researched them and discussed the rear vs. front facing with the pediatrician since the rule changed in 2011 or so between my two kids.

Judy Bradley September 18, 2013 at 12:08 pm

As I carry around 4 grand children at various times, I took my car & seats to the local fire dept who helps with proper installation and assurance of proper seating for kids.

kim burnett September 18, 2013 at 2:45 pm

We always follow the height/ weight/ age laws

kelly September 18, 2013 at 7:33 pm

I’m due in 2 weeks and I did my research before buying a carseat.
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Kim Kihega September 18, 2013 at 9:04 pm

We follow the manual and also have them checked to make sure they are installed properly.

Jenn McClearn September 18, 2013 at 9:33 pm

we read the car seat recommendations for the seat before purchasing and make sure to check their height and weight before making a purchase,

Jennifer K. C. September 18, 2013 at 11:30 pm

Research, knowing laws, weight limits, height limits, regulations, and more research! I want what is best for my babes!

Rebecca Orr September 19, 2013 at 12:15 am

I use the manual that came with my seat. But I guess, I actually do not know if it is installed correctly and safely. I should have it checked out.

Kelley Story September 19, 2013 at 1:53 am

I always make sure my seat is checked at the fire department once a year. They check height/weight to the seat my child is in.

Rebecca Parsons September 19, 2013 at 2:10 pm

My husband works for a car company and they do a safety program that we go to every year and one of the things they do is show how to properly secure a child in a car seat or a booster seat.

Amanda Cook September 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm

We did a lot of research before purchasing the casteat, and then read the manual that came with it. They also checked everything for us before we left the hospital!

Amanda Cook September 19, 2013 at 2:25 pm

We did a lot of research before purchasing the car seat, and then read the manual that came with it. They also checked everything for us before we left the hospital! We will also do a weight check soon to make sure we still have everything right!

Natalie F September 19, 2013 at 3:06 pm

We follow the instructions included with the carseat and we also swing by our firestation when they have their annual event where they will check the seats. My husband really takes the time to install them right and double check the requirements.
I also make sure all caregives know how to buckle in my kids. It’s important to buckle them in right too (chest clip at chest) etc.

Stephanie Phelps September 20, 2013 at 12:13 pm

We know because we got recommendations from the hospital and our insurance company and the day we went for a tour of the hospital they actually checked our car seat for us to make sure it was installed properly.

Kerry F September 20, 2013 at 12:45 pm

read the manuals and have it inspected by a professional

Seth September 20, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Read the manuals, online reviews, and check for expiration dates (car seats DO have them).

Denise Donaldson September 21, 2013 at 5:54 am

I always read the manuals and make sure it is age, height, and weight appropriate.

winz135 at

Ashley H September 21, 2013 at 8:31 am

We read the manuals and take it to get inspected at the local fire dept.
Ashley H´s last blog post ..20% Off at Lord & Taylor = Great Deals!!

Rachel @ Wife, Then Mama September 22, 2013 at 2:28 am

I know my child is in the right seat because I went to the fire department and had someone check. I also checked the seat for the height/weight limits before I started using it.
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katherine d September 22, 2013 at 6:59 am

I follow the height/weight recommendations by my doctor

katherinedibello (at) gmail (dot) com

Laura J September 22, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Well, Carter is starting to outgrow his current carseat, so we do need a new one. We follow the guidelines for weight to make sure he is in the correct car seat, which is telling us he is getting close to needing a new one.

Stephanie Larison September 23, 2013 at 2:27 am

I read the manual so I know it’s set up right. She’s good to go until she’s 65 lbs. I’d love to win this for my sister, she’s due with her first!

Tricia September 23, 2013 at 11:34 pm

I know my child is in the right seat because we follow the recommendations. He’s an infant and they have to be rear-facing. We followed the manual when installing and had it inspected.

Lara T September 24, 2013 at 9:59 pm

You know it is the right car seat by doing research, reading the manuals, and making sure your child fits properly in the seat.

Amy Martin September 25, 2013 at 4:53 pm

The best way is to read the manual for both the seat and your car

Donna Kellogg September 26, 2013 at 3:26 pm

I buy based upon age and weight of my child and read all instruction carefully

Brittany September 26, 2013 at 4:52 pm

I have had them professionally checked, read the manuals well and check with our dr to make sure we have them in the correct seat at every stage.

brooke t September 27, 2013 at 7:18 am

I know he is in the right seat based on safety testing standards!

Brenda Robinson September 27, 2013 at 1:19 pm

I plan to reseach and use your link where I found Charleston PD child seat check

McKim September 27, 2013 at 3:40 pm

We have a local police department install the car seat.

Rebecca Parsons September 27, 2013 at 11:25 pm

I was told that the seat i bought at the second hand store had 6 months left on it. Well that will last me til my granddaughter is 3 months old.

Daniel M September 28, 2013 at 5:46 pm

lots of research

Deb S September 28, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Our fire department runs safety checks and we take it by there to be sure it is in correctly.

LaNan September 29, 2013 at 12:09 pm

I always read the manuals and make sure the seat is for the correct age and weight. We go to local safety checks when their held to verify the seats are in correctly, especially when it’s a new seat.

Teresa Thompson September 29, 2013 at 2:24 pm

I go by weight and height.

Brittney House September 29, 2013 at 7:50 pm

I read the manuals and ask people who work with car seats for their opinions.

Laurie Emerson September 29, 2013 at 9:55 pm

We always read the manual carefully and also put our child into the seat itself before buying to make sure it is the perfect fit.

JoAnn F. September 30, 2013 at 6:10 am

My daughter had grandson’s car seat checked to make sure it is installed right.
jofo120 at yahoo dot com

susan smoaks September 30, 2013 at 11:29 am

I have done extensive research to ensure that our child is in the right seat.

meme September 30, 2013 at 1:41 pm

I have done a lot of research on different brands and models of car seats and where I live at a safety event I had them checked to make sure they were properly installed

Lisa P. September 30, 2013 at 7:14 pm

My daughter researched before buying my grandson’s car seat.

Tanya White September 30, 2013 at 9:10 pm

I always have my seats checked by the fire deptartment every year and I also always check before I put them in the car everytime.

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