Child Passenger Safety Week

Child Passenger Safety Week  —  September 23-29, 2018

The basics of child passenger safety – seat selection, direction, location, installation and harnessing – are more important than ever. Traffic fatalities nationwide are climbing at an alarming rate, and securing our most precious passengers correctly is the best way to protect them. Every year, thousands of children are tragically injured or killed in car crashes. In fact, crashes are a leading cause of death of children, and fatalities have been steadily increasing since 2014. On average, in 2016, two children under 13 were killed every day while riding in cars, SUVs, pickups and vans. Unfortunately, the numbers in 2016 show an 8-percent increase in fatalities from the previous year, making 2016 the deadliest year in the past 5 years. As a community, we have an obligation to keep children safe and making sure each child is traveling in the correct car seat for their age and size is crucial.

Parents and caregivers need to make certain that they and their children are properly buckled up for every trip, every time – including short trips to places like the grocery store or school. In 2016, 228 passenger vehicle occupants under age 13 died while unbuckled in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Car seats, booster seats, and seat belts — when used properly — save lives and offer the best protection for children in crashes.

In Pennsylvania from 2013 – 2017, 82 percent of the children under age 4 who were involved in crashes and restrained in a car seat sustained no injury (2017 Pennsylvania Crash Facts and Statistics). The data is evidence that deaths and injuries can be prevented by correctly using car seats, boosters and seat belts. In 2016, the Pennsylvania Occupant Protection law was enhanced to require children younger than age 2 to be secured in a rear-facing car seat.

Passenger’s Occupant Protection Law for Children

  • All children from birth to age 4 must be secured in a car seat anywhere in the vehicle.
    • Children younger than age 2 must be secured rear-facing, until they outgrow the maximum weight and height of the car seat.
  • All children 4 years of age and older, but less than 8 years, must be secured in a seat belt and an appropriate booster seat anywhere in the vehicle.
  • All children 8 years of age and older, but less than 18 years of age, must be secured in a seat belt system anywhere in the vehicle.
  • All drivers are responsible for securing children in the appropriate car seat, booster seat, or seat belt.

The PA Traffic Injury Prevention Project and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation are committed to working closely with our partners and safety advocates to educate parents and caregivers during Child Passenger Safety Week.  To generate awareness about the importance of securing children in the correct car seat, booster seat, or seat belt, the 2018 Child Passenger Safety Week planner was developed. The planner provides information and resources to promote the safety of children traveling in Pennsylvania. The planner is posted at This year’s theme “Safe Families Buckle Up” highlights that the best way to protect children in a car is to make sure every passenger in the vehicle is correctly buckled in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt on every trip, every ride.

The 2018 Child Passenger Safety Week planner includes evidenced-based best practice recommendations for the use of car seats, booster seats and seat belts for children of all ages. To request educational material, call 1-800 CAR BELT or email The available material reflects Pennsylvania law and best practice recommendations for correctly securing children.

We appreciate your partnership and look forward to working with you on this vitally important topic. During Child Passenger Safety Week, educational programs and community car seat check events are coordinated and staffed with certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians. The events provide education on how to use car seats, booster seats, and seat belts and are posted at The week concludes with National Seat Check Saturday on September 29th.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can do to support your efforts in promoting child passenger safety. Thank you for your dedication to protect children in your community. We look forward to working with you.


Angela Osterhuber, Ed. M


PA Traffic Injury Prevention Project

Rose Tree Corporate Center II

Suite 3007

1400 North Providence Road

Media, PA 19063

1-800-CAR BELT x24 (in PA)

Phone: 484-446-3036