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Child Passenger Safety
Selecting and Securing Car Seats

Link to Spanish version.

Why do I need to put my child in a child safety seat?

Properly installed car seats and booster seats reduce the chance of death in a motor vehicle crash by 71% for infants under 1 year and 54% for toddlers aged 1-4 years.

What is the “best” child safety seat for my child?

The one that fits your child, fits your vehicle, and the one that you can install correctly every time.

How do I choose a child safety seat?

Oklahoma’s child passenger safety law requires the following:

  • All children under age 4 must be properly secured in a car seat with an internal harness.
  • Children under age 2 must be properly secured in a rear-facing car seat.
  • Children at least age 4 but under age 8 must ride in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat, unless they are taller than 4’9”.

Seat belts are made for persons who are at least 4 feet, 9 inches tall. Your child should ride in a belt-positioning booster until the vehicle seat belt fits correctly (usually around 8 years of age):

  • The shoulder belt should lie on the collar bone and across the middle of the chest.
  • The lap belt should be snug and lie across the upper thighs/pelvic bones, not across the stomach.
  • The child should be able to sit with his/her back against the vehicle seat back with his/her knees bent comfortably over the vehicle seat and his/her feet on the floor.
  • A belt-positioning booster should always be secured with a seat belt, even when the child is not riding in it so it does not become a projectile in a crash.

Need help installing your child’s car or booster seat?

Always refer to the vehicle owner’s manual and child safety seat manual for correct installation instructions. If the instructions conflict, use the child safety seat manual’s instructions.

Have your child’s car or booster seat checked by one of the many certified child passenger safety technicians available throughout the state. To find a child passenger safety technician, visit www.safercar.gov/parents, select “Car Seats,” and then “Get Your Seat Inspected.”

Need more information?

If you have additional questions, please call the Injury Prevention Service at (405) 271-3430.

Injury Prevention Service, OSDH, 1000 NE 10th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117
Revised November 2015

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