Child Passenger Safety

Child Passenger Safety

Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children. In 2017, 675 children under age 13 were killed in motor vehicle crashes, according to Injury Facts. Properly securing children in safety seats goes a long way in keeping them safer. The National Safety Council believes child restraint systems should go beyond state requirements, because too often state laws are no match for the laws of physics.

Living Proof

Brooke Ice owes her life to a properly fitted car seat. Her mother had her car seat checked just two weeks before a very serious collision. Brooke, a firefighter, now plans to become a certified car seat technician.

National Digital Car Seat Check Form

Recognizing the need to capture data from car seat check events, NSC led a groundbreaking effort to develop a standardized National Digital Car Seat Check Form in partnership with Tennessee Tech University iCube, child passenger safety technicians, and with support from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah.

The Car Seat Check Form presents an unprecedented opportunity to develop a nationwide database that can be used to improve car seat safety programs, influence car seat and vehicle design, and provide insight into the misuse of car seats, booster seats and seat belts. This standardized electronic form is available to CPS Technicians around the U.S.

National Child Passenger Safety Board

NSC has managed the National Child Passenger Safety Board since its inception in the late 1990s. Its mission is to oversee and maintain the technical quality and relevance of the curriculum for the National Child Passenger Safety Certification Training Program. Certified child passenger safety technicians and instructors work in the field to help families and caregivers safely transport children.

The Board works with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which ensures the technical accuracy of the curriculum, and the National Child Passenger Safety Certification program, which is responsible for the certification and re-certification processes. The Board provides input from their representative organizations and from the field to ensure the ongoing significance of the certification program in keeping children safe. Learn more here.

Tips on Child Passenger Safety

  • Read the NSC position statement on child restraints, which addresses child passenger safety among multiple modes of transportation
  • Take advantage of car seat safety checks held nationwide during National Child Passenger Safety Week
  • If you're pregnant, schedule a car seat installation with a certified child passenger safety technician before the child is born
  • Children should ride in the back seat at least through age 12
  • If your kids complain about wearing seat belts, don't negotiate; don't drive off until they buckle up
  • Always be consistent and wear your seat belt; driver safety belt use strongly influences whether your child will buckle up
  • All 50 states require child seats with specific criteria; here is a list of child passenger safety laws by state, but too often, state laws don't go far enough
  • The life of a car seat ranges from six to 10 years; be sure to identify the expiration date set by the manufacturer of the seat being used
  • Recalls for child seat manufacturers for the past 10 years can be found here
  • Air bags can save the lives of older children and adults, but they can be fatal for young children when not seated correctly, particularly in the front seat; never place a rear-facing car seat in a front seat near an air bag
  • Always read instructions provided by the vehicle and car seat manufacturers for properly securing children in all seating positions.

Kids and Hot Cars

Over the past 20 years, more than 800 children have died in all but three U. S. states, and deaths have occurred during every month of the year. NSC now offers a free Children in Hot Cars e-learning course to assist everyone in understanding this preventable cause of death and why children are at greater risk.

  • 87% of children who have died were 3 years or younger
  • 54% were forgotten in a vehicle
  • 26% gained access to an unlocked vehicle
  • 19% were intentionally left in a vehicle
  • Learn more about kids and hot cars.

    Vehicle Crashes the No. 1 Killer of Teens

    Motor-vehicle crashes continue to be the No. 1 cause of death for U.S. teens. According to Injury Facts, 2,362 teens were killed in vehicle crashes in 2017.

    Yes, these statistics are frightening. That's why teen driver safety is an NSC initiative. Learn why a teen's biggest threat is sitting on the driveway and what you can do to protect your child – from having them sign a safe-driving contract to signing up for the weekly Digital Driving Coach.

    More Child Passenger Safety Resources

NSC Position Statement

NSC is calling for uniform child passenger safety practices on school buses, airplanes and in vehicles. Learn the important steps you can take to ensure children are safe on every trip.

Read the Statement

New Board Members

The National Child Passenger Safety Board appointed two new Board members in 2019.

Meet the Board