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Child Passenger Safety

When children are driven in a motor vehicle other than a bus, all children should be transported only if they are restrained in a developmentally appropriate car safety seat, booster seat, seat belt, or harness that is suited to the child's weight and age in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations. The child should be securely fastened, according to the manufacturer's instructions. The child passenger restraint system should meet the federal motor vehicle safety standards contained in 49 CFR 571.213 and carry notice of compliance. Child passenger restraint systems should be installed and used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and should be secured in back seats only.

Car safety seats should be replaced if they have been recalled, are past the manufacturer's “date of use” expiration date, or have been involved in a crash that meets the U.S. Department of Transportation crash severity criteria or the manufacturer's criteria for replacement of seats after a crash.

If the program uses a vehicle that meets the definition of a school bus and the school bus has safety restraints, the following should apply:

a) The school bus should accommodate the placement of wheelchairs with four tie-downs affixed according to the manufactures’ instructions in a forward-facing direction;

b) The wheelchair occupant should be secured by a three-point tie restraint during transport;

c) At all times, school buses should be ready to transport children who must ride in wheelchairs;

d) Manufacturers’ specifications should be followed to assure that safety requirements are met.

Topic:Health Services Management

Resource Type: Article

National Centers: Early Childhood Health and Wellness

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