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Seatbelt Safety from CHOP Pediatric Care

Every year, hundreds of kids are hurt or killed because they did not put on a seatbelt or they were buckled incorrectly. Protect yourself, your family and your friends by following these safety tips:

Infants (Under 20 pounds / less than one year old)

  • Use a rear-facing child seat.
  • The child seat must be in the back seat of vehicle.
  • Never place car seats in the front seat of a car with air bags. In a crash, the air bag can injure or kill a baby.
  • Never hold a baby on a lap in the car. The baby will not be protected in a crash.

Kids (Under 40 pounds / at least one year old)

  • Ride in a carseat facing the front of the vehicle.
  • Make sure that the seat is properly fastened to the car, holding it tightly in place.

Older Kids

  • Children should remain in a safety seat with a full harness for as long as possible, but at least until the child is over 40 pounds.
  • They should ride in a booster seat until the car's lap and shoulder belts fit correctly.
  • The child should be tall enough to sit without slouching, with knees bent at the edge of the seat with feet on the floor.
  • The lap belt should fit low and tight against the upper thighs.
  • The shoulder belt should rest over the shoulder and across the chest.
  • Never put the shoulder belt under the arm or behind a child's back.
  • The adult lap and shoulder belt system alone will not fit most children until they are at least 4'9" tall and weigh 80 pounds.

All kids are safest:
The safest place for any child under the age of 12 is the back seat of a vehicle.

Last Updated: 12/16/2009