Car Seat Safety

Last modified: June 12, 2020

The best car seat is the one that’s right for your baby’s size and age and can be properly installed in your vehicle.

  • Use a rear-facing car seat in the center of the back seat of your car until your baby is two years of age (adjusted age) or as long as possible. Then, switch to a rear-facing convertible seat with higher weight and height limits.
  • Have your car seat checked by a certified child passenger safety technician to make sure it’s properly installed.
  • Never leave your baby alone in a car, even for a minute.
  • Make sure the harness straps that keep your baby properly positioned and secured in the car seat fit snuggly. Loose harness straps don’t provide maximum protection.
  • All car seats have an expiration date. Please check your car seat’s instruction booklet or the back of the car seat for expiration date.
  • Never buy a used car seat if you don’t know its full history.
  • Please consult the National Highway Traffic Safety Office or a Child Passenger Safety Technician for information about reusing a car seat after a car crash/accident.
  • Don’t use any products in the car seat that didn’t come from the manufacturer. Car seat fabrics meet strict fire safety codes. Add-on toys may injure your child in a crash.


Car seats are made for travel. Don’t leave your baby in the car seat outside of the car for an extended period of time.

Did You Know?

Securing babies in rear-facing seats has proven to be the safest option to support their head, neck and spinal cord to prevent injuries. Children are safest riding rear facing to the upper weight and height limits of their car seat.

Need Help?

Safe Kids coalitions provide free instruction on how to install your car seat correctly by currently certified child passenger safety technicians.

To contact your local Safe Kids coalition, visit or call 202-662-0600.

EVERYONE should wear seat belts when riding in any kind of vehicle! The Injury Prevention Center at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the Infant Safety Program at UAMS are resources for information as well.

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UAMS is an entity of the state which may have different requirements under federal and state law than other hospitals, doctors, and providers. All information is subject to change.