It’s Child Passenger Safety Week

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.


  1. Kelli EMGE says

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

  2. D SCHMIDT says

    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

  3. marian boll says

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

  4. Christine says

    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! 😀

  5. Julia says

    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.

  6. Janet W. says

    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.

  7. Irene Cypher says

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

  8. Katie Roch says

    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.

  9. Tamar says

    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.

  10. Judy Bradley says

    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.

  11. Jenn McClearn says

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

  12. Jennifer K. C. says

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

  13. Rebecca Orr says

    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.

  14. Kelley Story says

    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.

  15. Rebecca Parsons says

    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.

  16. says

    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!

  17. says

    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!

  18. Natalie F says

    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.

  19. Stephanie Phelps says

    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.

  20. Denise Donaldson says

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

    winz135 at

  21. Laura J says

    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.

  22. Stephanie Larison says

    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!

  23. Tricia says

    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.

  24. Lara T says

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

  25. Brittany says

    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.

  26. Rebecca Parsons says

    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.

  27. says

    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.

  28. Laurie Emerson says

    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.

  29. JoAnn F. says

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

  30. meme says

    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

  31. Tanya White says

    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.