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Injury & Violence Prevention

Child Passenger Safety Program

En Espaņol

child in car seatMotor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for children over one year of age. When properly installed, child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers. Seat belt usage increases the chances for surviving a crash by nearly 45 percent.

The Child Passenger Safety Program began in 1995. It’s funded by a National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) grant administered by the S.C. Department of Public Safety (DPS). The goal of the program is to prevent and reduce injuries, disabilities and death to children due to motor vehicle crashes by:

  • Counseling parents and community groups on child passenger safety.
  • Demonstrating and instructing the proper installation of the various child safety seats (infant, convertible, and booster seats).
  • Explaining the dynamics of a motor vehicle crash and potential dangers for children not properly restrained.
  • Providing technical assistance as needed.
  • Providing training to DHEC’s public health offices, partner organizations, community groups, etc., to ensure knowledge and skills to properly restrain children in motor vehicles.
  • Serving as a resource for addressing child passenger safety issues in the community.
  • Stressing and educating the importance of safe transportation for children riding in motor vehicles.

Child Passenger Safety Tips

4 Steps for Kids

  • Step 1: Use rear facing child seats for children from birth to 20 pounds AND one year of age. The Academy of Pediatrics recommends leaving children facing the rear until they reach the maximum rear facing weight of their convertible car seat.
  • Step 2: Use forward facing child seats for children over 20 pounds and one year of age to 40 pounds.  
  • Step 3: Use belt positioning booster seats for children from 40 pounds to 80-100 pounds.
  • Step 4: Use seat belts for children when they are able to utilize the seat belt correctly when the shoulder belt crosses the collarbone and the lap belt fits low on the hips. Approximately 4' 9'' tall and 80-100 pounds.

Useful Links

For additional information please contact:
Neal Martin, Program Coordinator, 803-545-4348  email: martinco@dhec.sc.gov
Anne Stone, Program Assistant, 803-545-4347  email: stoneas@dhec.sc.gov
Kevin Poore, Program Assitant, 803-545-4349  email:  poorekh@dhec.sc.gov