TENNESSEE – September 16 – 21, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) promotes National Child Passenger Safety Week to help parents ensure their children ride as safely as possible. Every day in America, millions of parents travel with children in their vehicles. While some children are buckled in properly in the correct car seats for their ages and sizes – most are not, if they are buckled up at all. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 46 percent of car seats are misused.

“Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children in America,” said THSO Director Vic Donoho. “Make certain your car seat is installed correctly and your children are in the right seats. Get your car seat checked with a certified child passenger safety technician, so you can be sure your child is safe while traveling.”

The NHTSA recommends keeping children rear-facing as long as possible, up to the top height or weight allowed by their particular seats. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing-only “infant” car seat, he/she should travel in a rear-facing “convertible,” or all-in-one car seat. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing size limits, the child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness. After outgrowing the forward-facing car seat with a harness, children should be placed in booster seats until they’re the right size to use seat belts safely. Children under 13 years old should always sit in the back seat.