Child Passenger Safety

All parents are urged this week to check their child’s seat . . . car seat, that is. Child Passenger Safety Week, sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is Sept. 14-20 and concludes with National Seat Check Saturday. Everyone who transports children, whether they’re your children, grandchildren or their little friends, needs to be aware of which car restraint system is appropriate for their age and size and should know how to correctly install it in the vehicle.

From birth up to age 2, children should ride in a rear-facing car seat, in the back seat. From age 2 until at least age 5, they should ride in a forward-facing car seat, in the back seat. From age 5 until the vehicle’s seat belts fit properly, they should be buckled into a booster seat, preferably in the back seat.

Motor vehicle crashes are the second-leading cause of death for children aged 4 to 10 years old. Many children in this age group should be using a booster seat, but often they go straight from a car seat to using seat belts alone. Booster seats have been shown to reduce the risk of serious injury by 45 percent. But a new survey conducted by Safe Kids Worldwide shows that many adults are uninformed about safety rules for using booster seats.

Seat belts generally don’t fit children properly until they are 57 inches or taller and weigh between 80 and 100 pounds. Seven out of 10 survey participants didn’t know the height and weight parameters for moving a child out of a booster seat. The study revealed 9 out of 10 parents move their child from a booster seat to a seat belt before their child is big enough. Some of the reasons given for discontinuing use of the booster were: for the child’s comfort; accepting their spouse’s opinion; and how the child looked in the booster.

Children who are allowed to ride using only a seat belt before they have reached sufficient size could suffer serious abdominal injuries, neck injuries or face lacerations because the lap and shoulder belts are not positioned properly.

Numerous car seat inspection stations are located across the state of Indiana. In Indianapolis, you may contact one of the following organizations to schedule an appointment to ensure that your child is being safely secured and that the device is adequate and properly installed:

Automotive Safety Program – Riley Hospital for Children
575 West Drive, 317-274-2977

AAA Hoosier Motor Club
4437 Mayapple Court, 317-923-1500

IFD / Firefighter’s Survive Alive! Inc.
748 Mass Avenue, 317-327-7956

Marion County Health Department – Room 303
3838 N Rural St., 317-221-3145

AAA Hoosier Motor Club
8120 E. 21st St., 317-899-4714

Marion County Health Department
5860 Laurel Hall Drive, 317-221-8970

Southport Police Department
6901 Derbyshire Rd., 317-787-7595

AAA Hoosier Motor Club-Indianapolis
1309 E Stop 11 Rd., 317-882-1521

Marion County Public Health
3838 N Rural St., 317-221-3145

Franciscan St. Francis Health: St. Francis Car Seat Safety Program
8111 S Emerson Ave., 317-528-5774

AAA Hoosier Motor Club
8751 Wesleyan Road, 317-879-8505

For locations elsewhere in Indiana, refer to

The Indianapolis car crash lawyers of McNeely Stephenson have been helping victims of Indiana car crashes since 1981. We urge you to do everything you can to keep your passengers safe. If you or someone you love was injured in a motor vehicle wreck caused by someone’s negligence or recklessness, call 1-317-825-5200 and let us put our resources to work for you to obtain compensation that will help you deal with the consequences of their actions.