Car Seat Safety

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death and disability among children in the U.S., and the second leading cause of injury-related admissions at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. When used correctly, car seats can prevent injuries and save lives.

Community Car Seat Fitting Stations in Michigan

Car seat fittings teach parents and other drivers how to use a car seat and what to consider when choosing a safe car seat. Each car seat fitting is conducted one-on-one with a nationally certified child passenger safety technician. Car seat fittings typically take 20-30. Parents and caregivers can expect to learn:

  • How to properly install a car seat
  • How to decide which direction a car seat should face according to the child’s age, weight and particular seat
  • Safety features of a car seat
  • Their vehicle’s unique safety features and how it works with their chosen car seat
  • If the car seat has been recalled or is expired

Car Seat Safety at Mott Children’s Hospital

The goal of the Mott Buckle Up! Program is to prevent injuries to children in car crashes. Mott Buckle Up! provides services to both the community and patients at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. Our Buckle Up! staff are all certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians. Our car seat safety services include:

  • appointments with Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians
  • inpatient/family consultation
  • education throughout the community
  • training and certification of Child Passenger Safety Technicians
  • providing reduced-cost car seats to families with proof of low income
  • car seat fitting stations in Washtenaw and Livingston Counties

Parents who are expecting and need to know how to properly use car seats are encouraged to call for an appointment during the third trimester of pregnancy. Call 734-763-2251 to make an appointment with our Child Passenger Safety Technicians at one of our community fitting stations.

Frequently Asked Questions about Car Seat Safety

  • When can I turn my child forward-facing? In March 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated its recommendation and now advises parents to keep children rear-facing until 2 years of age or until they reach the maximum height or weight of their particular seat. For more information about when to transition your child from rear-facing to forward-facing or forward-facing to a booster seat visit Safe Kids USA.
  • Which car seat is the safest and best? All new seats meet the same government crash testing requirements, so it is important to find a seat that fits your child and fits your vehicle in a way that allows you to use it correctly each time.
  • Are used car seats purchased second hand safe? Knowing the history of a car seat is critical. This includes both crash history and original purchase information. Many times, used car seats are expired, recalled or missing important parts. For this reason, purchasing used car seats is not recommended. However, seats handed down by friends or family members may be appropriate if you can confirm the crash history and recall information.
  • Which is safer: LATCH or seat belt? Both are equally safe. However, LATCH has a weight limit specific to each vehicle make and model (this information can be located in your vehicle’s owner’s manual or by contacting the manufacturer). Seat belts and LATCH should NEVER be used together.
  • Do car seats expire? Yes, many car seats expire six years after the date of manufacture. Please check your date of manufacture, which is located on the seat, or contact the manufacturer for more information.
  • Where can I learn more about car seat safety? Check out the Safe Kids USA website for car seat safety fact sheets, helpful tips, and video demonstrations.


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