Child Passenger Safety

Child smiling in his car seat

Car Seat Safety Class

A free car seat safety class is offered the first Wednesday of every month from 5:30-7:30 p.m. A full range of Birth & Parent Education classes are also available.

Classes & Events

Many kids spend a lot of time in the car, so it is important to learn how to keep them safe on the road. There’s a lot to know! Learn more car seat safety tips to protect your child.

  • The way a child rides in the car is an important part of keeping them safe.
  • Children using a booster seat are 45% less likely to be injured in a crash versus a child using a seat belt.
  • This is why it is so important that a child uses the most appropriate seat for their age and weight.
  • They should remain seated in the back seat until they reach at least 13 years old.
  • Pay close attention to the height and weight limits specified by the manufacturer.
  • Visit the Safe Kids Worldwide website for The Ultimate Car Seat Guide to figure out which seat best meets your child’s needs.

FREE Car Seat Installation

Cottage Health offers FREE car seat installation appointments and classes.

Get your child’s seat checked by a certified passenger safety technician. Our Cottage Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPST's) are available by appointment only, every Tuesday from 8:00-12:00 p.m.

Please contact Trauma Services 805-569-7478 to schedule your appointment.

Protect Your Child – It Is The Law!

Smiling child in a car seat

In California, for each child under 16 who is not properly secured, parents (if in the car) or drivers can be fined more than $475 and get a point on their driving records

Rear-Facing Seats

Children under the age of two are required to ride in a Rear-Facing car seat in the back seat. Children should remain in a rear-facing car seat (either an “infant” or a “convertible”) until they reach the top height or weight limit allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer.

A convertible seat starts out rear-facing and converts to a forward-facing seat when the child is ready. Rear-Facing is the safest way to ride.

Forward-Facing Car Seats

Keep your child in a Forward-Facing (either a “convertible” or combination”) car seat with a harness until they reach the top height or weight limit allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer. Many forward-facing seats must be used with a top tether.

Boosters & Beyond

Child holding Safe Kids logo sign

Once your child has outgrown the weight limits of a five point harness, transition them to a booster seat.

Booster seats help elevate your child so that the shoulder strap fits comfortable across the chest, the lap belt stays low over the hips, and the knees bend over the seat edge. Booster seat weight limits can be as high as 120 pounds.

  • Keep your children in a Booster seat until they are big enough to fit in a seat belt properly and are at least 4’9” tall.
  • All children are safest, properly restrained, in the back seat until age 13.
  • Airbags are meant for adults and can cause serious injury to a child if they sit in the front and are in an accident.
  • No one should ever place the shoulder belt under the arm or behind the back.

California Child Restraint Law

Birth to 16 Years

  • Children under age 8 must be properly buckled into a car seat or booster in the back seat.
  • Children age 8 or older, or who are 4’9” or taller, may use the vehicle seat belt if it fits properly with the lap belt low on the hips, touching the upper thighs, and the shoulder belt crossing the center of the chest.
  • If children are not tall enough for proper belt fit, they must ride in a booster or car seat.

Exemptions

A child under age 8 may ride in an appropriate restraint system in the front seat if:

  • There is no rear seat.
  • The rear seats are side-facing jump seats.
  • The rear seats are rear-facing seats.
  • The car seat or booster cannot be installed properly in the rear seat.
  • All rear seats are already occupied by children seven years of age or under.
  • Medical reasons require that a child cannot ride in the rear seat. Proof of the child’s medical condition may be required.
  • A child cannot be transported in a rear-facing car seat in the front seat that is equipped with an active frontal passenger airbag.

Join the Cottage Kids Club

Cottage Children's Medical Center Kids Club

The Cottage Kids Club was created to get children excited about exercise and nutrition and to provide opportunities for families to get active. Membership is FREE.

Join the Club

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