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Car Seat Safety Refresher for Summer Vacations

By Allison Sundman
Kaiser Permanente Media Specialist
06/05/2024 at 02:21 PM

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Summer travel season is coming up, and Kaiser Permanente wants to make sure that families arrive safely at their destinations. 


Bradley Jacoby, DO, chief of pediatrics at Kaiser Permanente Riverside, says, “This is a good time to take a refresher on car seat safety.” One of the leading causes of preventable injuries or death among toddlers is the “improper use of a child seat during a crash.” 


According to Kaiser Permanente, “up to 70% of new parents are not properly securing their kids in a car seat.” Dr. Jacoby says, “Here in California, the law is rear-facing-only seats until 2 years old, or if the child is over 40 pounds or over 40 inches, then they’re allowed to switch direction” and face the front of the vehicle. 


Current estimates of child restraint effectiveness indicate that child safety seats reduce the risk of injury by 71% to 82% and reduce the risk of death by 28% when compared with children of similar ages in seat belts. 


Infants and toddlers have relatively large heads and several structural features of their neck and spine that place them at particularly high risk of head and spine injuries in motor vehicle crashes. “Rear-facing car seats provide optimal support to the head and spine in the event of a crash,” adds Dr. Jacoby. 


When children using rear-facing-only seats reach the highest weight for their seat, they should continue to ride rear-facing in a convertible seat for as long as possible. Most currently available convertible seats can be used rear-facing to at least 40 pounds. 


Car safety seats are most effective when used properly. Child passenger safety technicians can help you install your child’s seat correctly. If you have further questions, check in with your pediatrician. 








About Kaiser Permanente 

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.7 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to