Child Passenger Safety

According to NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), car crashes are the number one killer of children ages one to 12 in the United States.

  • 40% of children who should be in a child restraint are not in one
  • 80% of child restraints are installed incorrectly
  • Every 12 minutes, one person is killed in a motor vehicle crash Properly used rear-facing car seats reduce the risk of death during a crash by 71%.
  • Properly used forward-facing car seats reduce the risk of death during a crash by 54%.

Arizona Law: Effective August 2, 2012, all children under 8 and 4’9” are required to be secured in a child restraint. The seat must meet appropriate height and weight specifications for the child.

There is a fine of up to $176 for violation of Arizona State Law 28-907.

Click on the appropriate icon for your child’s age to learn about the best way to keep your child safe.

Certified child passenger safety technicians are also available to help you. Click here for more information.

  • Every child under 8 years old must in an appropriate child safety seat. Child safety seat includes infant seats, convertible seats, forward facing seats or other federally approved safety devices.
  • Every child from 8 to 16 years old who is not secured in a car seat must be secured in the vehicle's seat belt.
  • Protect your child as they ride! The back seat is the safest. Children under 13 years old should ride in the back seat.

Baby Passenger Safety

  • Babies ride rear-facing until they are at least 1 year AND 20 pounds.
  • When they outgrow their infant carrier they can ride rear-facing in a convertible seat.
  • Keeping children rear-facing until 30-35 pounds, as most convertible seats allow, is the safest for your baby.

Toddlers and Pre-schoolers

  • Toddlers and pre-schoolers ride in a forward-facing carseat with a harness until child is at least 40 pounds or until they reach the seat's height and weight limit. See label on seat. This includes convertible seats and combination toddler booster seats with a harness.

Booster Seats

  • Children are ready for a BOOSTER SEAT when they weigh over 40 pounds and are 5 years or older.
  • Booster seats help position your child so the lap/shoulder seat belt fits them correctly. With a booster seat, the lap belt fits over their hips and touches the top of their legs and the shoulder belt is centered on the shoulder and chest and not across their face and neck.
  • A backless booster can be used if the seats of your car are high and your child’s head does not go above the seat.
  • A high-back booster is needed if the seats of your car are not high and do not have head restraints (headrests).

When is my child ready to ride without a booster seat?

Take the 5-Step Test*: Have your child sit in the car using the lap/shoulder belt without their booster seat to take the test.

1.    Does your child sit all the way back with hips against the auto seat?
2.    Do your child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
3.    Does the shoulder belt cross the shoulder between the neck and the arm?
4.    Is the lap belt as low on the hips as possible and touching the thighs?
5.    Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then your child still needs to use a booster seat to ride safely in the car. Seat belts do not usually fit kids safely until they are 4’9” tall, weigh about 80 pounds and are about 8-12 years old.

The back seat is the safest place to ride. Children should ride in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old!

*5-Step Test taken from SafetyBeltSafe USA

Protecting Children in and Around Cars Expert Links: Safe Kids, National Highway Safety Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kids and Cars, Golden Gate Weather Services and Know the Hot Spots.

Safe Kids Pima County Child Safety Seat Checks

Child Safety Seat Checks are held at several different locations and are by appointment only.
Please see our Tucson Area Car Seat Fitting Stations for further information. For more information, contact Safe Kids Pima County at (520) 324-2783.