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Car Seats, Boosters & Seat Belts

About

Keeping children safe while traveling is a top priority for parents and caregivers, and often parents seek out information regarding car seat safety. Material created for this campaign covers topics every step of the way — from purchasing the correct car seat according to a child’s weight and height, to properly installing it, and when to move them to the next type of seat.

Key Dates:

  • September 15-21, 2024: Child Passenger Safety Week
  • September 21: National Seat Check Saturday

Many assets are available in English and Spanish. Share this information with partner organizations to help spread the message across all communities.

Facts

Child Safety facts, stats and reports from NHTSA's National Center for Statistics and Analysis

Get More Facts & Reports
  • Every day in 2022, on average, three children under 13 were killed and 429 were injured in cars, SUVs, pickups, and vans.
  • A total of 756 children were killed in passenger vehicles in 2022, and over 120,000 were injured.
  • In 2022, more than a third (39%) of children who died while riding in passenger vehicles were unrestrained.
  • Over the 5-year period from 2018-2022, there were 1,837 “tweens” (8 to 14 years old) killed in passenger vehicles. 
  • In 2022 alone, the 8- to 12-year-old age group had the highest number of fatalities (326) among children in traffic crashes. This age group is often found to be using the wrong type of restraint for their age and size. Moving a child passenger into a booster seat or adult seat belt before they are the right age and size can increase the risk of injury and death. 
  • Children from some minority groups are at greater risk of being unrestrained when killed in traffic crashes: According to 2021 data from NHTSA, 45% of Black children killed in car crashes were unrestrained, followed by Hispanic children (42%). By comparison, white children killed were unrestrained 30% of the time.
  • In 2022, almost half (49%) of the children killed while riding in light pickup trucks were unrestrained, followed by SUVs (38%), passenger cars (34%), and vans (12%). Children are safest when secured in the proper car seats or booster seats for their ages and sizes, regardless of the vehicle type.
  • Parents and caregivers can model safety for their kids. Research shows there is a strong correlation between caregivers who buckle up and their child passengers’ seat belt use. In 2022, of the child passengers killed in crashes while riding with an unbuckled driver, 68% of those children were also unbuckled.

Car seats save lives

  • In passenger cars, car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers 1 to 4 years old in passenger cars. For infants and toddlers in light trucks, the corresponding reductions are 58% and 59%, respectively. 
  • NHTSA estimates that since 1975, child restraints have saved the lives of 11,606 children under the age of 5. 
  • A NHTSA study found that while most parents and caregivers believe they know how to properly install their car seats, about half (48%) have installed their child’s car seat incorrectly. 

For facts translated in Spanish, visit NHTSA.gov/Espanol.
 

Child Passenger Safety Week

Child Passenger Safety Week is September 15-21, 2024, and you'll see increased communication related to child passenger safety. You can use any of the material available on this page to increase your safety messaging. In addition, several documents specific to Child Passenger Safety Week are available.

  • Spanish Coming Soon

Talking Points

We've prepared talking points related to child passenger safety. After downloading, we encourage you to add local stats and facts to the document.

  • Coming Soon

Earned Media

We've produced sample news releases that can be used throughout the year for media outreach. For news releases specific to Seat Check Saturday, see our Child Passenger Safety Week section.

  • Spanish Coming Soon

Variable Message Boards

MAKE SURE

CHILDREN ARE IN

THE RIGHT SEAT

THE RIGHT CAR SEAT

CAN SAVE YOUR

CHILD'S LIFE

PROTECT YOUR

YOUR KID WITH

THE RIGHT SEAT

KEEP YOUR TWEENS

BUCKLED AND

IN THE BACK SEAT

Graphics

Asset Type

General
Right Seat Chart Animated
Slow Too Soon Static
Under 13 Back Static
Car Seats Saved Animated
Crash 32 Seconds Animated
Double Check Animated
Short Trip Animated
Install, Check, Register
Lower Anchors Animated
Tether Animated
Moving Car Seat Animated
Learn at Inspection Animated
Locations Across U.S. Animated
Incorrect Install Stat Animated
Complicated Expert Help Animated
Registration Animated
Registration 4 Things Static
Registration Don't Delay Static
Seasonally Themed
Winter Coats 4 Images w/ Social Posts
Winter Themed 4 Static | 2 Animated
Valentine's Day Animated
Summer Road Trip Animated
Back to School Animated
Halloween Animated
Hayride Animated
Parade Animated
Spanish
Back to School | Spanish Animated
Did You Know | Spanish Animated
Play in Rain | Spanish Animated
Road Trip | Spanish Animated
Snowman | Spanish Animated
Where to Be | Spanish Animated

Videos

Asset Type

English
3 Steps
Back Seat Under 13
Car Seat Installation Available on YouTube
Choosing The Right Seat Available on YouTube
Find The Right Seat
Forward-Facing Seat
Installing Rear-Facing
Keep Kids Safe
Wide World of Car Seats Available on YouTube
Spanish
3 Steps | Spanish
Car Seat Installation | Spanish Available on YouTube
Find The Right Seat | Spanish
Front-Facing Seat | Spanish
Installing Rear-Facing Seat | Spanish
Keep Kids Safe | Spanish
Spot The Problem | Spanish

Ads

Asset Type

Video | English
Child Car Seats | 4 AM | English TV & Digital | :06 :15 :30 available at AdCouncil.org
Child Car Seats | Hustle | English TV & Digital | :15 :30 available at AdCouncil.org
Child Car Seats | I Come Correct | English TV & Digital | :15 :30 available at AdCouncil.org
Child Car Seats | Play Place | English TV & Digital | :10 :15 :30 available at AdCouncil.org
Child Car Seats | Tweens | Soccer | English TV & Digital | :06 :15 :30 available at AdCouncil.org
Video | Spanish
Child Car Seats | 4 AM | Spanish TV & Digital | :06 :15 :30 available at AdCouncil.org
Child Car Seats | Hazlo Correctamente | Spanish TV & Digital | :15 :30 available at AdCouncil.org
Child Car Seats | Play Place | Spanish TV & Digital | :15 :30 available at AdCouncil.org
Child Car Seats | Soccer | Spanish TV & Digital | :06 :15 :30 available at AdCouncil.org
Audio | English
Animal Sounds | English Radio | :30 :60 available at AdCouncil.org
I Come Correct | English Radio | :60 available at AdCouncil.org
Kiddie Song | English Radio | :30 available at AdCouncil.org
Night Shift | English Radio | :15 :30 available at AdCouncil.org
One Upmanship | English Radio | :30 available at AdCouncil.org
Sour Note | English Radio | :15 :30 available at AdCouncil.org
Tween Band | English Radio | :30 available at AdCouncil.org
Audio | Spanish
Animal Sounds | Spanish Radio | :30 :60 available at AdCouncil.org
I Come Correct | Spanish Radio | :60 available at AdCouncil.org
Night Shift | Spanish Radio | :30 available at AdCouncil.org
One Upmanship | Spanish Radio | :30 available at AdCouncil.org
Sour Note | Spanish Radio | :15 :30 available at AdCouncil.org
Other | English
Banner | English Multiple options available at available at AdCouncil.org
Out-of-Home | English Multiple options available at available at AdCouncil.org
Print | English Multiple options available at available at AdCouncil.org
Other | Spanish
Banner | Spanish Multiple options available at available at AdCouncil.org
Out-of-Home | Spanish Multiple options available at available at AdCouncil.org
Print Ads | Spanish Multiple options available at available at AdCouncil.org
CPS Week

Future Dates

2025

  • Child Passenger Safety Week: September 21 – 27, 2025 
  • National Seat Check Saturday: September 27, 2025 

2026 

  • Child Passenger Safety Week: September 20 – 26, 2026 
  • National Seat Check Saturday: September 26, 2026 

2027 

  • Child Passenger Safety Week: September 19 – 25, 2027 
  • National Seat Check Saturday: September 25, 2027 

2028 

  • Child Passenger Safety Week: September 10 – 16, 2028 
  • National Seat Check Saturday: September 16, 2028 

2029 

  • Child Passenger Safety Week: September 16 – 22, 2029 
  • National Seat Check Saturday: September 22, 2029
     

Car Seat Ease-of-Use

NHTSA’s Ease-of-Use Ratings let you compare how easy it is to use certain car seat features so you can make informed decisions about the right car seat.

Using the Car Seat Finder, just enter your child’s age, height and weight, then click on “View Detail” in the “Ease-of-Use Ratings” column next to the car seat brand, model and mode (position). Each mode has its own rating.

Are All Car Seats Safe?

All NHTSA-rated car seats meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and strict crash performance standards. While all rated seats are safe, they do differ in their ease-of-use in four basic categories:

  1. Evaluation of Instructions - Examines the content and clarity of the instructions manual for the child restraint.
  2. Vehicle Installation Features - Examines the ease of using features that pertain to installing the child restraint in a vehicle.
  3. Evaluation of Labels - Examines the content and clarity of the labeling attached to the child restraint.
  4. Securing the Child - Examines the ease of using features that pertain to securing a child correctly in the restraint.

What Do NHTSA’s Ratings Mean?

We use the following rating system to help you evaluate the four basic categories above:

  • 5 Stars = Excellent features on this child restraint for this category
  • 4 Stars = Above-average features on this child restraint for this category
  • 3 Stars = Average features on this child restraint for this category
  • 2 Stars = Below-average features on this child restraint for this category
  • 1 Star = Poor features on this child restraint for this category
  • N/A = Does not contain any features that require a rating

For Child Passenger Safety Technicians

Car Seat Check Fillable Flyer
Car Seat Check Flyer

Additional Resources