Car Safety Seat Recommendations

This page has been automatically translated from English. MSDH has not reviewed this translation and is not responsible for any inaccuracies.

Child car seats protect children from birth to their early teens against death and injury.

  • In 2015, 21 children under the age of 14 were killed as passengers in Mississippi.
  • In 2015, over one-third (35%) of children killed in car accidents were not in car seats, booster seats or seat belts.

The Mississippi State Department of Health conducts safety seat checks and educates parents in the proper installation of car safety seats.

Safe Seating

  • Kids in the back: Keep children under age 13 in a back seat.
  • Sit tight: Never let children ride on laps, in cargo areas or pickup truck beds.
  • Put your weight into it: Get a tight fit between the child restraint system and the vehicle seat. Put your weight into the child restraint system to compress the vehicle seat while tightening the seat belt as much as possible.
  • Special needs: Some children require special child restraints. Premature infants, children with respiratory difficulties, orthopedic challenges, and neurological and behavioral problems may require special child restraints.
  • Stay informed: Information on using vehicle seat belts with child restraints may be obtained from the vehicle seat belts and the owner's manual. For proper installation, read both the vehicle owner's manual and the child restraint instruction manual.

Safe Seating Events

The following statewide events are planned for National Child Passenger Safety Month, where nationally certified technicians can teach you to properly install your car seat.

September 20: Coast Community College
Gautier, MS
*Health Fair with car seat information only

September 22: Crystal Springs Middle School
2092 S. Pat Harrison Dr.
Crystal Springs, MS 39059

September 23: Babies R Us
260 Ridge Way
Flowood, MS 39232

September 23: WalMart
1000 S. State St.
Clarksdale, MS 38614

September 23: Fourth Annual Children's Health Fair
Gale Community Center
Hernando, MS

September 30: Moon Festival
Vietnamese Martyrs Catholic Church
171 Oak Street, Biloxi
*car seat check before festivities begin

September 23: Louis Gunning Community Safe Room
9am -Noon
323 Liberty Rd., Natchez, MS 39120

Which Seat?


Rear-facing only seats and rear-facing convertible seats

All infants and toddlers should ride in a Rear-Facing Car Seat until they are at least 2 years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat's manufacturer.



Convertible seats and forward-facing seats with harnesses

Any child who has outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit for his convertible car seat should use a Forward-Facing Car Seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat manufacturer.


School-Aged Children

Booster Seats

All children whose weight or height is above the forward-facing limit for their car seat should use a Belt-Positioning Booster Seat until the vehicle seat belt fits properly, typically when they have reached 4 feet 9 inches in height and are between 8 and 12 years of age.


Older Children

Seat belts

When children are old enough and large enough for the vehicle seat belt to fit them correctly, they should always use Lap and Shoulder Seat Belts for optimal protection.

All children younger than 13 should be restrained in the rear seats of vehicles for optimal protection.

Recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics

Stay Secure

  • Place children in age- and size-appropriate restraint systems. This reduces serious and fatal injuries by more than half. An estimated ninety percent of Mississippi's children use improper restraints for their size and age.
  • Install car seats using a locked vehicle safety belt or a Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system.
  • Check your vehicle's owner's manual to determine whether a locking clip is needed to secure the child safety seat.

Always use the correct child restraint system. Never use pillows, books or towels to boost a child. Doing so can compromise your child's safety.

Find out more


For more information on how to install your car seat properly, contact:

  • Mississippi State Department of Health: 601-206-1559
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Last reviewed on Jun 23, 2017
Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866-HLTHY4U web@HealthyMS.com
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