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Public Safety

San Diego County To Give Car Seats To Low-Income Families

A baby is shown sitting inside a car seat.
County of San Diego
A baby is shown sitting inside a car seat.

San Diego County To Give Car Seats To Low-Income Families
San Diego County plans to give out 1,944 car seats this year to low-income families using a $245,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.

San Diego County plans to give out 1,944 car seats this year to low-income families using a $245,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety. This is the fifth year the county has won this funding.

To Request a Car Seat

Call the Pacific Safety Center at (888) 846-4200 or go to carseat.psc411.com.

The money will also pay for a campaign that will educate the public on car seats and how to install them.

California law says children under age 8 who are shorter than 4-foot-9 have to use a car seat or booster seat.

Guidelines from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say infants should use rear-facing car seats.

Children under three should use a rear-facing seat and graduate to a forward-facing seat only once they exceed the rear-facing seat's weight limit, according to the NHTSA.

Children should stay in the forward-facing seat as long as possible and graduate to a booster seat only once they exceed the forward-facing seat's weight limit.

Children can continue to ride in booster seats until age 12, and should always ride in the car's backseat. The Pacific Safety Center lists these additional tips on its website:

What are the most common child safety seat installation mistakes?*

• Not using the right child safety seats for a child's size and age;

• Not placing the child safety seat in the correct direction;

• Incorrect installation of the child safety seat in relation to the vehicle's air bags;

• Incorrect installation and tightness of the child safety seat to the vehicle seat;

• Not securing/tightening the child safety seat's harness and crotch straps;

• Improper use of locking clips for certain vehicle safety belts;

• Not making sure the vehicle's seat belts fit properly across the child when using a booster seat; and

• Using a defective or broken child safety seat.

• Adding after-market items and non-regulated items.

Sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)