Car Seat Safety

Is your child riding safely in the car? One of the most important jobs you have as a parent is keeping your child safe when riding in a vehicle. Each year thousands of young children are killed or injured in car crashes.

Did you know that most car seats are installed or used incorrectly? Proper use of car seats helps keep children safe, but with so many car seats on the market, many parents find it overwhelming.

Our Community Health Nurse is a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician and can help. If you have any questions regarding child safety in and around the car, or you need help installing your car seat, please contact us to set up a car seat check.


Age Group Type of Seat General Guidelines
Infants Infant Seats and Rear-facing convertible seats Infants should ride rear facing until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer. When children reach the highest weight or length allowed by the manufacturer of their infant-only seat, they should continue to ride rear facing in a convertible seat until at least age 2.
Toddlers and Preschoolers Convertible seats and forward-facing seats with harnesses It is best for children to ride rear-facing as long as possible to the highest weight and height allowed by the manufacturer of their convertible seat, at least age 2. When they have outgrown the seat rear-facing, they should use a forward-facing seat with a full harness as long as they fit.
School-Aged Children Booster seats Booster seats are for older children who have outgrown their forward-facing car safety seats. Children should stay in a booster seat until adult belts fit correctly (when a child reaches about 4′ 9″ in height and is between 8 and 12 years of age).
Older Children Seat belts Children who have outgrown their booster seats should ride in a lap and shoulder seat belt in the back seat until 13 years of age.

Source: Car Safety Seats: A Guide for Families 2010 (Copyright © 2010 American Academy of Pediatrics)

Safety laws for kids in West Virginia

State Bike Helmet Law Effective July 1, 1996: Children under 15 years of age are required to wear a helmet. Every child (whether riding a tricycle or bike or as a passenger on an adult’s bike) must wear a well-fitting helmet.

West Virginia State Child Occupant Protection Law: 17C-15-46. Child passenger safety devices required; child safety seats and booster seats.

Every driver who transports a child under the age of eight years in a passenger automobile, van or pickup truck other than one operated for hire shall, while such motor vehicle is in motion and operated on a street or highway of this state, provide for the protection of such child by properly placing, maintaining and securing such child in a child passenger safety device system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards: Provided, That if a child is under the age of eight years and at least four feet nine inches tall, a safety belt shall be sufficient to meet the requirements of this section.

Any person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than ten dollars nor more than twenty dollars.

A violation of this section shall not be deemed by virtue of such violation to constitute evidence of negligence or contributory negligence or comparative negligence in any civil action or proceeding for damages.

If any provision of this section or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this section and to this end the subsections of this section are declared to be severable.

If all seat belts in a vehicle are being used at the time of examination by a law officer and the vehicle contains more passengers than the total number of seat belts or other safety devices as installed in compliance with federal motor vehicle safety standards, the driver shall not be considered as violating this section