Kohl’s Transportation Safety Program
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death due to unintentional injury in children ages 5-14 in San Diego County. While not all motor vehicle crashes are survivable, the use of an age-appropriate, properly installed child passenger safety seat reduces the risk of death or serious injury by 71 percent.
Through generous grant funding provided by Kohls’ Department Store, Rady Children’s Hospital is able to provide weekly child passenger safety seat inspections. During these inspections, parents are educated in safety in and around vehicles and the technicians ensure that parents can install their car seat before they leave.
We provide consultation and installation services for children with special healthcare needs. We have several technicians trained specifically to address their needs. When scheduling an appointment at one of our checkup events, please let our assistant know about your child’s special needs. It is helpful to have the name and phone number of the child’s physical or occupational therapist so that we work with them to ensure the most comfortable and safe transportation for your child.
Below are some frequently asked questions. The answers are based on the current state law and best practices recommended by the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP):
Q. What are the laws for child passenger safety in California?
New Law!! Beginning Jan. 1, 2012 children up to age 8 must ride in a booster seat and in the back seat. Only children 4 feet 9 inches or taller are allowed to use a seat belt only. Children under 16 years old must use a seat belt. The new fine is now $475 and 1 point off the drivers license! Be a good role model and take care of yourself. Always buckle up!
A. Children must be rear-facing in a child passenger seat until they are AT LEAST 20 pounds AND 1 year old. Children must ride in a rear seat in a child passenger safety seat until they are 8 years old and reach a height of 4 feet, 9 inches.
Q. How do I know if my child’s car seat is installed correctly and if they have the correct seat?
A. Make an appointment at our weekly child passenger safety inspections stations by calling (858) 576-1700, ext. 5096, or visit our calendar of events to find out when our technicians will be at your local Kohl’s store.
Q. I understand the law regarding safety seats but what do most pediatricians recommend?
A. The AAP and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration recommend that children remain rear-facing until they reach the weight/height limits of the car seat manufacturer, which in many cases, is up to 30-35 pounds. Rear-facing is much safer for your child, as the hard shell of the seat protects your child from forces created in a frontal impact. Once your child is forward-facing, it is recommended that your child remains in a five-point harness until he/she is 4 years old and 40 pounds. However, it is recommended that children remain in this harness to the limit of the harness, which can be up to 80 pounds. A five-point harness provides greater support and disperses impact forces across a broader surface area.
When purchasing a car seat, it is best to look for a seat with a higher weight limit for the harness. Once children outgrow the weight limit of the harness, they can progress to a belt-positioning booster. Some children are ready for this at age 4 and 40 pounds. Children should remain in a booster until they are at least 8 years old, or reach a height 4 feet 9 inches tall. Seat belts are designed for adults, so children under this height will need a booster seat to allow the belt to lie across the hips and across the shoulder to best secure them in case of a crash. Pediatricians recommend that children remain in the rear seat until their 13th birthday. Sitting in the rear seat decreases the chance of serious injury by 45 percent and many children don't reach the size and weight limits recommended to sit in a front seat with an air bag until this age.
Q. What is the Safety Belt Test?
A. This is the test experts use to see if a child is ready to sit with a seat belt alone. A child can progress to a lap and shoulder belt if:
- The child can sit in the seat with hips all the way back, knees bent over the front of the seat.
- The lap belt should lie across the hips (not the child’s waist),
- The the shoulder belt should lie across the shoulder ( not across the child’s neck). If you notice that your child routinely takes the shoulder belt and places it behind them, they probably needs a booster seat to position themselves correctly.
- Can your child remain in this position for the whole trip? if your child is impulsive and you are worried he will unbuckle themself in transit, you will want to invest in a car seat with a harness weight up to 80 pounds.
Q. When can my child ride in the front seat?
A. The law requires that children remain in the back seat until age 8. However, the AAP recommends they remain in the rear seat until age 13. Occupants in the back seat are 45 percent less likely to be injured in an accident. Check the weight-limit precautions of your front seat airbags; most discourage front-seat occupants less than 100 pounds.
New Rules for Car Safety Seats
Safety Seat Inspection Event Calendar
Select a day, then click "Register Now" to sign up for an inspection.