FAQs and Resources

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I’m a short adult. Do I need a booster seat?  
Children’s bodies are still developing so they are more vulnerable in crashes. Adults have bones that are fully formed and full strength, so they do not need a booster seat. For more information:
https://csftl.org/short-adults-seat-belts/

What about large or overweight children? Do they still need a booster seat?    
Larger children still need to pass the seat belt fit test. There are several booster seats available to accommodate higher weights, even up to 125 pounds. For more information:
https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/Pages/Car-Safety-Seats-and-Obese-Children-Suggestions-for-Parents.aspx

Why does the car seat law in my state differ from the safety recommendations? 
The law is based on the minimum in order to be enforceable. The law is not meant to be a recommendation for what is safe, as children are all different shapes and sizes.  For more information:
https://csftl.org/state-laws/

Why don’t school buses have seat belts? 
The big yellow school buses are actually very safe—safer than our cars. They are designed to be strong, large, and visible, and use a passive restraint system called compartmentalization. For more information:
https://csftl.org/school-buses/

Is a backless booster seat safe?  
Yes, when used correctly, a backless booster is just as safe as one with a back—with a few exceptions. If you have low vehicle seat backs, or if you have a young child who falls asleep or otherwise won’t stay in position, you’d want a booster seat with a back. Boosters with side-impact protection wings built into the backs bring added protection. For more information:
https://csftl.org/booster-seat-myths/

How can I get free and reduced price seats?  
There are a variety of resources for free and reduced price seats for those who cannot afford one. Click here for a list of resources: https://csftl.org/resources-for-free-and-reduced-price-seats/

Child Passenger Safety Information for Children of All Ages

Virginia Department of Health: Buckle Up, Virginia!
Occupant protection information and resources for Virginia residents
www.safetyseatva.org

Virginia Department of Health: Safety Seat Installation Videos
Instructional videos for installing car seats and restraining children safety
www.youtube.com/user/SafetySeatVA

Virginia Department of Health: Low Income Safety Seat Distribution Program
Information on how to qualify for a free car seat in Virginia
http://www.vdh.virginia.gov

Safercar.gov
Car seat inspection station locator and guide to state CPS laws
https://www.safercar.gov

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Choose Child Safety Seats from the menu for helpful information and resources
www.nhtsa.gov

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): List of recalled child restraint devices
www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/childseat.cfm

The Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia — Keeping Kids Safe during Crashes
Helpful information and installation videos for parents
research.chop.edu/programs/carseat/

The Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Education and advocacy tools, research updates, and peer reviewed publications for CPS practitioners and researchers
injury.research.chop.edu

SafetyBeltSafe USA
General information and resources for parents and techs
www.carseat.org

American Academy of Pediatrics — Car Safety Seats: Product Listing 
Helpful parent guide for securing children of all ages; includes information on travel vests
www.healthychildren.org

American Academy of Pediatrics—On the Go
Installation help for parents
https://www.healthychildren.org

Safe Kids — Safe Kids Buckle Up
Helpful information for traveling with children of safety belt age
https://www.safekids.org

Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles — Highway Safety
General traffic safety information and resources for Virginia residents
https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/safety/

Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters — Child Safety Seat Information
Child passenger safety information
http://www.chkd.org/carseats

Safe Kids USA – Car Seats, Boosters and Seat Belt Safety
Useful resources for parents about professionals about car safety
www.safekids.org/car-seat

The Car Seat Lady
www.thecarseatlady.com/

Infants

The Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia — Car Seats for your infant
Guidance, pictures, and videos for safe travel with infants
http://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/car-seat-safety-kids/car-seat-safety-by-age/newborn-2-years

Safe Kids USA — Child Passenger Safety: Infants
Information for parents traveling with infants
www.safekids.org/safety-basics/babies/on-the-way/carseat-safety-for-babies.html

Virginia Department of Health: Installation Videos for Infants
Video demonstrating installation of a rear-facing infant seat:
www.youtube.com/user/SafetySeatVA
Video demonstrating installation of a rear-facing convertible seat:
www.youtube.com/user/SafetySeatVA

 

Toddlers

The Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia — Car and Booster Seats for your Toddler
Guidance, pictures, and videos for safe travel with toddlers:
http://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/car-seat-safety-kids/car-seat-safety-by-age/toddlers

Safe Kids USA — Child Passenger Safety: Toddlers
Helpful information for traveling with toddlers
www.safekids.org/safetytips/field_age/little-kids-1–4-years/field_risks/car-seat

Virginia Department of Health: Installation Videos for Toddlers
Video demonstrating installation of a forward-facing child seat
www.youtube.com/user/SafetySeatVA

 

Booster Age Children

The Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – Car and Booster Seats for Your 4- to 8-year-old
Guidance, pictures, and videos for safe travel with booster age children
research.chop.edu/programs/carseat/4to8.php

Safe Kids USA — Child Passenger Safety: Boosters
Helpful information for traveling with booster age children
www.safekids.org/safetytips/field_risks/booster-seat

SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A — Boosters are for big kids
Downloadable 2-sided flyer with guidance for booster seat use
www.carseat.org/Boosters/630.pdf

Virginia Department of Health: Video for Using Booster Seats
Video demonstrating proper use of booster seats
www.youtube.com/user/SafetySeatVA

 

Children of Safety-Belt Age

The Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia — Car Safety for Older Children, Teens and Young Drivers
Guidance, pictures, and videos for safe travel with older children
http://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/car-seat-safety-kids/car-seat-safety-by-age/older-children

Safe Kids USA: Child Passenger Safety: Safety Belts
Helpful information for traveling with children of safety belt age
www.safekids.org/safety-basics/pre-teens-and-teens/on-the-way/booster-seat-and-seat-belts.html

Safe Kids Worldwide: Safety Belt Fit Test
Downloadable flyer
www.safekids.org/tip/seat-belt-safety-tips-pdf

Virginia Department of Health: Video for Using Safety Belts
Video demonstrating safe travel with older children
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qstkr8UFWPo

Make it Click
A car safety program targeting the increase of tween safety belt and back-seat use
www.umakeitclick.org

 

Information for Safely Transporting Children
with Special Needs

Automotive Safety Program: National Center for the Safe Transportation of Children with Special Health Care Needs
Site devoted to providing information, resources, and additional help for safely transporting children with a variety of health conditions
www.preventinjury.org/Special-Needs-Transportation

Dayton Children’s Special Needs Resource Center: Transportation
Comprehensive list of car seat needs for specific conditions
www.childrensdayton.org/cms/special_needs_transportation/index.html

American Academy of Pediatrics: Transporting Children with Special Needs
Parent guidance for transporting children with special needs
pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/104/4/988.full