Using a safety seat consistently and correctly is the law. All 50 states require that children up to 3 years of age (or 40 inches tall in Kentucky) ride in car seats in private vehicles, and many have laws requiring car seats or booster seats until a child is considerably older.
There's good reason for that. Every year, more than 90,000 children under age 8 are injured in car crashes, and more than 1,000 are killed. In fact, auto accidents are by far the leading cause of death for American children.
Safety seats dramatically reduce the risk of death or serious injury in a collision. Stephanie Tombrello, executive director of the nonprofit passenger-safety organization SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A., urges all parents to get a safety seat that's convenient to use, and to make buckling your child into it such a habit that you don't even have to think about it.
Talk to other parents on the Baby Center Car Safety Tips bulletin board.
Read more on car seat safety from Baby Center at www.babycenter.com.