Childhood Injury Prevention

Child Car Seats Save Lives!

Using the correct car seat for your child’s age and size every time your child is in a motor vehicle significantly reduces risk of serious injury or death.

Picture showing proper car seat usage

Haga clic aquí para ver la imagen en español

Washington State requires car seats and boosters

In January 2020, Washington State updated their child restraint laws to require that:

  • Children up to age 2 must be properly secured in a rear-facing car seat.
  • Children ages 2-4 years must ride in a car seat with a harness (rear or forward facing).
  • Children 4 and older must ride in a car or booster seat until they are 4’9″ tall.
  • Children over height 4’9” must be secured by a properly fitted seat belt (typically starting at 8-12 years old).
  • Children up to age 13 must ride in the back seat when possible.

Click here to view the current Washington Child Passenger Restraint Law (RCW 46.61.687).

Do you need a car seat or booster seat?

Through the generous support of the Kittitas County Law and Justice Council, the Kittitas County Public Health Department has a limited number of car seats and booster seats available for families who are not able to purchase one on their own.

For more information, including to request a car seat or booster seat, please contact the Kittitas County Public Health Department at 509-962-7515 or by emailing publichealth@co.kittitas.wa.us.

How to Avoid Common Mistakes

Follow the link below and go through the tabs to see common mistakes and how to fix them.

Facts & Figures

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children in the United States.
  • In the U.S during 2019, 608 children ages 12 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes, and more than 91,000 were injured.
  • Proper car seat use reduces the risk for injury in a crash by 71-82% for children when compared to seat belt use alone.
  • Booster seat use reduces the risk for serious injury by 45% for children aged 4-8 years when compared with seat belt use alone.
  • Child restraint systems are often used incorrectly. An estimated 46% of car and booster seats (59% of car seats and 20% of booster seats) are misused in a way that could reduce their effectiveness.

Resources & Links