Merced County California

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New Car Seat Recommendations
New Car Seat Recommendations
  • Children under 2 are 75 percent less likely to suffer severe or fatal injuries in a crash if they are in a rear-facing car seat, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), issued March 21, 2011, based on a 2007 University of Virginia study.
  • Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer.
  • Even though California law allows toddlers to be legally switched from rear-facing to forward-facing after one year of age and weighing at least 20 pounds – The AAP says that one year of age is too soon to switch children from rear-facing to forward-facing car seats.
  • Keeping children rear-facing longer offers the greatest protection to the child’s head, neck and spinal cord during a collision.
  • The AAP policy statement also advises that older children should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall and 8 to 12 years old. A booster seat allows the vehicle’s lap and shoulder belt to fit properly, meaning that the lap portion of the belt fits low across the hips and pelvis, and the shoulder portion fits across the hips and pelvis, and the shoulder portion fits across the middle of the shoulder and chest.
  • Booster seats which reposition the seat belt across the strongest bones of the child’s body reduce injury risk for children 4 – 8 years old by 45% compared to seat belts alone, according to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia researchers.

Click here to view the car seat recommendations chart.

Merced County Department of Public Health
260 E. 15th Street
Merced, CA 95341
For more Injury Prevention information call: (209) 381-1156
For more information about the Child Passenger Safety Seat activities call: (209) 381-1136
For more information: 

First 5 Merced County:

Public Health - - Child Injury Prevention – Car Seats
1. Why should I use a child safety seat?
Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death and serious injury among children under the age of 6 in Merced County. Child safety seats protect children during a vehicle collision.

2. Does the Health Department offer child passenger safety classes?
Yes, we offer monthly child passenger safety classes, one class in English and one class in Spanish each month. Pre-registration is required to attend these classes. To call for more information or to make a reservation please call (209) 381-1136.

3. Does the Health Department offer classes in other languages?
Yes, there is a monthly Spanish class.

4. What children need to be in a child safety seat?
Babies and young children must ride in the back seat, properly buckled up in a safety seat or booster until they are at least 8 years old. Infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing child safety until they are at least 2 years old. A child under age 8 who is at least 4’9” tall can wear a safety belt if it fits properly with the lap belt low on hips, touching the upper thighs and the shoulder belt crossing the center of the chest. If children are not tall enough for proper belt fit, they must ride in a booster or car seat. Additionally, all children 6 years or less may not be left alone in a vehicle. The child must be supervised in the car by someone at least age 12.

Click on the link below to view the California car seat law

5. What number can I call if I have questions about my child’s car seat?
Call the Merced County Department Public Health Car Seat Line: (209) 381-1136.

6. Why is it important that I know how to properly use my child safety seat?
When child safety seats are properly installed – children’s lives are saved. Ninety-eight percent of car seats are not installed correctly. Fatal injuries to infants and toddlers are reduced by 71% and 54% respectively, when the correct safety restraint is used properly in passenger car crashes.

7. Why should I talk to a certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Technician about my child safety seat?
CPS Technicians have passed a rigorous training curriculum designed by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) and are certified by Safe Kids Worldwide in collaboration with the National Child Passenger Safety Board (NCPSB) to check and install any child safety seat. CPS Technicians receive up-to-date information on recalled car seats, new laws and are experts on child safety seats.

Merced County 2222 M Street Merced, CA 9543 Ph. (209) 385-7434 Toll Free (800) 226-6452
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