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Child Passenger Safety

child_passenger.jpgWe will be the first to say that if you’re struggling with your child’s safety seat, you’re not alone! With the daily demands of parenthood, it may feel impossible to keep up with the new car seat technologies, recalls and ever-changing Child Passenger Safety laws. We know that car seat safety can get complicated, fast! Here are some frequently Asked Questions to help you solve your car seat problems.

 

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FAQ’s:

What is Child Passenger Safety (CPS)?

Child Passenger Safety, also known as car seat safety, is a critical component of your child’s safety every day. When traveling with your child in a vehicle it is the law in Connecticut to keep your child properly restrained in a car seat. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, road injuries are the leading cause of death to children in the United States. However, the correct use of a child safety seat can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71%.

Unfortunately, only 1 out of 5 car seats in Connecticut is used properly. It is the mission of Safe Kids Connecticut to ensure safe transportation of all children in Connecticut by raising awareness on the issue, providing community education and safety materials to local families in need and by hosting car seat check events statewide. Safe Kids Connecticut aims to be a resource for families and organizations who want to learn more about keeping their child safe in and around vehicles.

Where can I get my car seat installed?

To get your car seat installed by a Child Passenger Safety Technician you must attend a Car Seat Clinic or go to your local fitting station. The difference between a Car Seat Clinic and a Fitting Station is that Fitting Stations happen at the same time and location on a regularly occurring basis and Car Seat Clinics are events that happen one time. Whether you’re at a Car Seat Clinic or a Fitting Station you will always work with Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians and receive the same general car seat installation and education.

There are approximately 75 fitting stations in Connecticut. Please use the map below to find a location near you.

What is a Child Passenger Safety Technician?

Thankfully, there are members of the community who are certified to install car seats and educate caregivers on Child Passenger Safety. These individuals, called Child Passenger Safety Technicians, have taken a 32 hour certification course on car seat installation and education and are certified through Safe Kids Worldwide. If you’re interested in becoming a Child Passenger Safety Technician, please click here.

What happens when I get my car seat checked?

After being greeted and asked to fill out light paperwork, the technicians will check your seat to see if it’s expired or recalled. Then, they will measure the height and weight of your child (or ask you this information) to make sure the seat properly fits your child. If necessary, they will adjust harness straps to fit your child before the installation occurs. Then, they will install your seat making sure to teach and answer questions you may have as they install. The technicians may even walk you through installing the seat yourself, to ensure you know how to install the seat safely for your child. At some point, you will most likely receive educational materials to take home with you.

child_passenger_2.jpgWhat are the Child Passenger Safety Laws in Connecticut?

LAW: Infants must remain rear-facing until they are a minimum of both 20 lbs and 1 year old.
Further Recommended: Babies should be kept rear facing until they are two years old or meet the maximum height or weight limit for their car seat when it is rear facing.

LAW: Toddlers must be in a car seat.
Further Recommended: Children should remain the car seat until they reach the weight or height limit of their car seat (usually 40 pounds or more).

LAW: Children should ride in a car sear or booster until they reach 7 years old AND 60 pounds (they must meet both requirements). Children who ride in a booster seat must use a lap and shoulder belt.
Further Recommended: Children should continue to ride in a booster seat until the seat belt fits properly (fitting on their collar bone and hip bones, not on their neck and stomach).

LAW: Children, tweens and teens must be in a seat belt whenever they ridein a vehicle.
Further Recommended: Children should ride in the back seat until they are 13 years old. All people and objects should be properly restrained whenever they are in a vehicle.

Violators of the Connecticut car seat law must pay a fine and attend a 2-hour educational car seat class at the Department of Motor Vehicles.