A Parent's Guide to Playing It Safe With Kids and Cars 

Did you know three out of every four car seats are used incorrectly? The consequences can be devastating. In fact, vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death for children between 1 and 13 years old.
A Parents Guide To Playing It Safe

This booklet - A Parent's Guide to Playing It Safe with Kids and Cars - is designed to equip you with easy-to-understand information about today’s vehicle safety features, car seats and how to keep your kids safe in and around vehicles.

In addition to an extensive list of vehicle makes and models and their safety features, you'll find an illustration with safety features that help protect your children; guidelines for choosing the right car seat; an explanation of ease-of-use ratings to help you evaluate car seat features; tips for installing car seats properly; and dangers in and around vehicles.

To get you started, here's a preview of Playing It Safe with Kids and Cars:

Always Remember:

  • Use a car seat for every trip - even when you're just going down the street.
  • Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size, and always follow the manufacturer's directions.
  • Make sure your car seat is compatible with your vehicle by checking the car seat manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Keep kids in the back seat at least through age 12.

Related Resources:

arrowPurchasing with Safety in Mind: What to look for when buying a vehicle (PDF, 3.32 MB)
Learn about the Government 5-Star Safety Ratings Program, Overall Vehicle Score, and safety tests and features.

arrowChild Safety at Parents Central
Find answers to common questions about keeping your kids safe while on the move – whether buying a car seat or a safer car.

arrowChild Car Seat Installation Videos
Watch how to properly install a variety of car seats and boosters using a seat belt or LATCH.

arrowChild Seat Ease-of-Use Rating System
While all NHTSA-rated car seats are safe, find out how they differ in their ease of use and more.

arrowNHTSA Facebook
Share your insights on kids and car safety on NHTSA’s Facebook site.