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Motor Vehicle Safety

Steps to Safe Transportation 


Step 1:   

Infants are safest riding rear-facing as long as possible, AT LEAST until they are over 1 year AND over 20 pounds. If they outgrow the weight/height limit of their infant-carrier BEFORE their first birthday, they should be moved
to a convertible seat and continue to ride rear-facing until they reach the maximum weight/height allowed by the manufacturer which could be until 2 years old. 
Step 2:   
When they have outgrown their rear-facing car seat AND are over 1 year old, they should use a forward-facing car seat. Toddlers are safest staying in a harness seat until they are AT LEAST 40 pound AND approximately 4 years old. 
Step 3:
Children over 4 years old, between 40-80 pound and under 4’9” tall, need a booster seat to lift them up to make the seat belt fit correctly. Booster seats must ALWAYS be used with a lap AND shoulder belt. 
Step 4:
A child can ride in a vehicle lap/shoulder seat belt when he/she can do ALL of the following: 
 • Sit against the vehicle seat back
• Bend his/her knees at the edge of the vehicle seat
• The lap belt fits across the hips
• The shoulder belt is centered on the shoulder and chest
• He/she can stay seated with his/her feet flat on the floor, without slouching, with the belts in the correct position for the whole trip   
 • All children are “safest” in the back seat until they are 13 years old. 
 Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury to children under age 14. Child safety seats can prevent injuries and save lives, when installed and used correctly. Young children restrained in child safety seats have an 80 percent lower risk of fatal injury than those who are unrestrained. Effective July 1, 2008, Michigan law requires all children to ride in an appropriate child safety seat until they are 8 years old or 4’9” tall.

Always refer to the owner’s manual of the child seat and to the vehicle owner’s manual for specific use of a child safety seat and installation instructions. Since these instructions are often not user-friendly, consulting a certified child passenger safety technician is highly recommended. A 'Car Seat Check' is an event where you can learn how to transport your children as safely as possible by individuals who have been trained and certified in child passenger safety. 

Fact Sheet for this information.

VIEW CALENDAR for upcoming Car Seat Checks.

This safety video was brought to you by:

  • Kohl’s Department Store
  • The Kohl’s Cares Program
  • The Children’s Hospital of Michigan
  • The Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation

The Kohl’s Injury Prevention Program is a team of Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians and Instructors.



Joann Moss covers the basics on selecting the appropriate car seat for your child.



Roberta Davis:

  • Installs the base
  • Uses a “lap only” seat belt
  • Positions an infant in their car seat
  • Installs just the infant seat (no base) inside a vehicle

Renee Zarr:

  • Installs a convertible car seat rear facing
  • Uses a lap and shoulder seat belt



La Toya Cain:

  • Installs a forward facing car seat
  • Uses the LATCH system in the vehicle



Renee Zarr:

  • Determines if your child can ride in a booster
  • Shows how a booster should fit
  • What type of booster would be best

Joann Moss:

  • Explains why children need to be over 4’9”
  • The 5 Step Test to be ready for a seat belt

La Toya Cain:

  • Dangers of a misused car seat 
  • Projectiles in the vehicle
Renee Zarr concludes with a brief message to the caregivers. Feel free to visit our website www.ChildrensDMC.org/KIPP  or email for more information CHMsafety@DMC.org
  Webinar featuring Kohl's injury prevention expert, Renee Zarr, CPSTI, about the proper way to install child safety seats as well as tips on when your toddler is ready for forward-face seating and more.

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