Child Passenger Safety

Child Safety

Definition: Child passenger safety requires consistent use of correctly installed safety seats, booster seats, or seat belts that are appropriate for a child's height, weight, and age.

Magnitude of the Problem

  • Motor vehicles crashes are the leading cause of injury death among children ages 14 years and under, according to the 2020 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s WISQARS data.
  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NTHSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System data from 2020:
    • An average of 3 children aged 14 and under were killed, and 380 were injured every day in traffic crashes.
    • 42% of the child passengers who died in a crash, for whom restraint use was known, were not restrained or buckled up.
  • Child safety seats and belts can reduce severe and fatal injuries (CDC Child Passenger Safety Facts)
    • Child safety seat use reduces the risk of injury for infants and toddlers by 71-82% when compared with seat belt use alone
    • Booster seat use reduces the risk for serious injury by 45% for children ages 4-8 when compared with seat belt use alone
    • Seat belt use reduces the risk for death and serious injury by about half for car passengers ages 5 and older


Strategies to improve child passenger safety include:

  • Child safety seat and booster seat distribution and education
  • Proper installation and use of child safety seat, booster seat, or a seat belt
  • Spread and use of certified child passenger safety technicians
  • Community-wide information and enhanced enforcement campaigns
  • Incentive and education programs that provide rewards to parents or children for the purchase and proper use of child safety seats
  • Programs to serve children with neurodevelopmental conditions or other special health care needs. To find a technician with special needs training, go to Find a CPS Technician and check "Special Needs" under "Extra Training"