Keeping Children Safe in the Car: Reminders & Resources

Cesi Velez
Project Manager
WA Child Passenger Safety
Bonney Lake Police Department

In Washington State, motor vehicle crashes took 29 lives of children 0-12 years old in years 2019-2021. Almost half of these deaths involved no or unknown restraint use. During the same years, an additional 42 children were seriously injured in vehicle crashes. Data indicates 80% of these children had no/unknown restraint use or were using a lap/shoulder belt system (no child or booster seat).

Car safety seats have been shown to be very effective at preventing death and serious injury for our youngest children. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% for infants (younger than 1 year old) and by 54% for toddlers (1 to 4 years old) in passenger cars. Over the past decades, car seat technology has steadily improved in safety and ease-of-use features and provided higher weight and length limits at each stage.

However, these lifesaving and readily available devices are too often misused or not used at all. Washington car seat check data displays a 68% misuse of child restraints. Parents view their children’s health care team as a reliable source for safety advice, so you can be a huge part of the solution to this statewide issue. 

Attached is a flyer demonstrating best practice for child restraint use and Washington’s child restraint law. It provides the link to the State’s child passenger safety program and where families can find local car seat check services. Nationally certified child passenger safety technicians are available to assist families in ensuring they are using, adjusting and installing the proper child restraint. If you would prefer to receive preprinted flyers to display at your clinic and distribute to the families you serve; fill out the form at: