Buying a Car Seat
Before the big day, make sure you have a car seat appropriate for a newborn and, most importantly, know how to use it properly. Washington state law requires all children must be safely buckled into an approved child car or booster seat until they reach the age of 8 or a weight of 80 pounds. The car seat must be used exactly as the car-seat maker instructs, or your child may not be safe.
Here are a few tips to ensure your child’s car-seat safety:
Check the seat
The middle of the back seat is the safest place for a car seat
Never place a rear-facing car seat in a position with an active airbag
Secure the car seat tightly, allowing as little movement as possible at the base of the car seat
Check the child
The harness straps must go over the child’s shoulders and lie flat against the child’s chest
The harness clip should lie flat at armpit level
Allow no more than one finger to fit between the harness strap and the child’s shoulders
Check the age/weight guidelines
Up to 1 year and 20 pounds: Use a rear-facing seat
At least one year old and up to 40 pounds: Use a forward-facing seat
More than 40 pounds: Use a booster seat. (The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends booster seats, used in conjunction with lap/shoulder belts, be used until the child is 8 years old unless the child is 4'9".)
Find more answers to your car-seat safety questions by going to the FAQ on Car-Seat Safety page.
Swedish SafeRide is a program created to help families with limited incomes buy car seats. However, families of any income level may buy car seats through SafeRide at wholesale prices. Cost for families is $75 per seat, including tax.
To buy a car seat, visit the Heath Building at Swedish/First Hill, 801 Broadway, Suite 718. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 9am-3pm (closed 12:30-1:30pm for lunch). No appointment is needed, but you will be asked to complete a form and watch an instructional video on car-seat use prior to the purchase.
For more information about our SafeRide child car-seat program, please call 206-215-3338, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
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