UC Davis trauma prevention car seat program

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injuries to children, but children correctly secured in the right car seat or booster seat are far more likely to survive a crash without major injuries.

California car seat safety law

California State law requires children to be correctly restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat in the back seat of a vehicle until they are 8 years old or 4'9' tall. 

On January 1st 2017, a new California State law will require children under 2 years of age ride in a rear-facing car seat unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds OR is 40 or more inches tall.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that children remain in the back seat of a vehicle until age 13 and in a booster seat until the seat belt fits, which is usually about 4’9” tall.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children remain in the back seat of a vehicle until age 13 and in a booster seat until the seat belt fits, which is usually about 4’9” tall.  

Choosing the right seat for your child

The best and safest child safety seat is one that fits your child, fits in your vehicle and is easy to adjust, so you can do it correctly every single time. How to choose the correct seat.

Installation tips

Always follow the child safety seat instructions and the vehicle manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the seat is being used properly. Installation Tips 

 LATCH - (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children)

Getting your car seat installation checked

Get your child's safety seats checked to make sure it is installed properly. There are many permanent car seat safety  fitting stations in the Sacramento area (PDF) where you can make sure your car seat is installed properly or you can call our office for a free appointment at  916-734-9784.

Learn more about car seats

Our program offers free monthly car seat classes that teach parents and care givers how to select and use a car seat. These classes are also available in Spanish. For more information about our car seat classes or for the date of our next class, call 916-734-9799 or click on the link above.

Car seat safety materials

Car seat information (infant seat through booster seat)


UC Davis Children’s Hospital child passenger safety program

Our car seat program was established in 1995 to make sure that every child discharged from our hospital leaves safer than when they arrived. Our program offers:

  • Child safety seat inspections by appointment
  • Multilingual car seat classes to the public
  • Child passenger safety education for health care workers
  • National child passenger safety technician training
  • Multilingual child passenger safety materials
  • Community child safety seat inspection events
  • Child safety seat resources for low income families

Program Support

Since 2005, the Al and Mary Wickland Fund has provided generous funding to our hospital car seat program so that every child discharged from the Children’s Hospital leaves safely. Car seats are provided to parents who cannot afford one, helping to keep the smallest and most vulnerable members of our community safe on the road.

Our community car seat program is supported by Kohl’s Cares through the Kohl’s Buckle Up To Grow Up program. Donations to the program from Kohl’s Cares are used to provide no cost car seats to families in the community.

More car seat safety resources

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
The AAP provides extensive car seat safety information for health-care professionals, child passenger safety technicians, and parents.
Car Safety Seats “A Guide for Families”

Automotive Safety Program, Riley Hospital for Children
The National Center for the Safe Transportation of Children with Special Health Care Needs serves as a resource for families, health care professionals, transportation providers and car seat safety advocates. 

California Department of Public Health provides vehicle occupant protection information for parents, child passenger safety technicians and health-care professionals. 

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a federal government agency responsible for reducing deaths, injuries and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes. 
Child Safety Seat Recalls 
Child Safety Seat Registration Form
Child Safety Seat Complaint Form 

Partners for Child Passenger Safety provides information on Keeping Kids Safe During Crashes: Every Child Deserves a Safe Ride site includes videos and other useful information. 

Safe Kids Worldwide is a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury, a leading killer of children 14 and under. 

Safety Belt Safe U.S.A. provides comprehensive site for parents and child passenger safety technicians. 

Car Seats In Your Area provides information on child passenger safety seats that may be available in your area.