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 CDPH Awarded Grant to Expand Child Safety-Seat Use 

Date: 12/14/2016 
Number: 16-080 
Contact: Ali Bay, (916) 440-7259 

SACRAMENTO  California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith today announced that CDPH has received a $488,650 grant to expand statewide programs that train parents how to keep their children safe when riding in motor vehicles. 

“Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the number one cause of death for children,” said Dr. Smith. “This grant allows these programs to continue their life-saving work, and help more parents protect their children, whether the child is in a booster seat, car seat or the vehicle’s seat-belt system.”  

The funding, from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, allows the CDPH Vehicle Occupant Safety Program (VOSP) to train 450 new child passenger safety (CPS) technicians and keep more than 2,000 existing technicians up-to-date on current practices. In turn, these technicians will teach parents how to choose and properly install their car seats. VOSP also develops and provides educational materials to parents, via local programs, to increase proper child-restraint use and reduce injuries and deaths. More child passenger safety information is available on the CDPH website. 

California recently passed a law requiring parents and caregivers to keep children in a rear-facing car seat until age two. Enforcement of this new law begins January 2017, so parents who may be shopping for a car seat should look for one that will last as rear-facing to the age of two. Rear-facing car seats are five times safer than front-facing car seats. 

Current California law requires children up to age eight ride in a booster seat. All children up to age eight, including infants and toddlers in car seats and kids in boosters, must be seated in the back seat. Children ages 0-16 years must be properly restrained in a child safety or booster seat, or the vehicle’s restraint system. It is also California law to never leave a child who is 6 years of age or younger alone in the car without the supervision of a person at least 12 years old if the keys are in the ignition, the car is running or there is a significant risk to the child.
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