In Washington state, more children die from car crashes than from any other kind of injury. Between 2003 and 2007, a total of 61 Washington kids age 9 and under died in crashes, and 319 kids in that age range were hospitalized.

According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, 60% of the children who were killed in crashes weren't wearing a seatbelt or riding in a car seat or booster seat.

At Seattle Children's, we have been advocating for child passenger safety for the past 15 years.

Booster seats reduce the risk of injury by 59% as compared to the use of seatbelts alone, according to research from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Seattle Children's:

  • Holds quarterly community car seat checks, which are open to the public.
  • Offers an infant car seat class for expecting parents, taught by a certified child passenger safety expert. Expecting parents learn how to install their baby's car seat and how to safely secure the baby in the car seat. See the class flyer (PDF).
  • Provides low-cost booster and car seats to hospitalized patients and patients visiting the Emergency Department (ED). We also teach parents how to use the seat correctly.

Since 2005, we have also provided low-cost or free booster seats to more than 3,000 children from low-income families in the community.

Advocating for Child Passenger Safety

Children's child passenger safety advocacy has been especially focused on correct seat use for all children and has been a strong proponent of booster seats. Seattle Children's advises parents to keep children rear-facing until age 2, per the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation. We worked with the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission and the Washington State Safety Restraint Coalition to form the Washington State Booster Seat Coalition in 1999.

For more information, call our community car seat line at 206-987-5999.

Find Car Seat Checks in Your Area

Many organizations offer regular, free car seat check. Come and learn how to safely secure your child in the car.