Proper Car Seat Use Improves Auto Safety

Putnam County Department of Health

1 Geneva Road, Brewster, New York 10509


Contact:  Michelle Martine, 845-808-1400 x 44122

Proper Car Seat Use Improves Auto Safety

BREWSTER, NY—Every September, National Child Passenger Safety Week is observed and it is a good time to review motor vehicle safety issues. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children, from 1 through 12 years of age. Improper use of car restraints is part of the problem. The group estimates that 3 out of 4 children are not as secure as they should be, because their car seats are being incorrectly used.

The age, height and weight of the child all play a role in knowing when to transition to the next level. Children should start out in a rear-facing car seat, and then move to a forward-facing one, a booster seat, and finally a regular seat belt.

Recommendations from the NHTSA include:

  • Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size. Choose a seat that fits in your vehicle and use it every time.
  • Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions. Read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or LATCH system; and check height and weight limits.
  • To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
  • Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.

Proper Car Seat Use Improves Auto Safety, page 2

Luckily, there are a couple local of police stations that will provide car seat checks to make sure the car or booster seat is properly installed and fits the child. Both the Carmel (628-1300) and Kent Police (225-4600) Departments along with the Sherriff’s Department conduct once a month car seat clinics. Call for date, time and location. Car seat checks are also conducted at the Annual Children’s Expo & Public Safety Day, held in the spring.

Keep in mind that New York has child passenger safety laws and fines for a first offense range up to $100, three plus points on a driver’s license, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association and NY DMV website.

For more information, visit the “Parents Central” section of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website at

For more information on the CAC please visit the Putnam County website at  and under “Departments” select Child Advocacy Center. Or visit our social media site on Facebook at


Contact:  Michelle Martine, 845-808-1400 x 44122