Child Passenger Safety
Child car seats protect children from birth to their early teens against death and injury.
Our team educates on child passenger safety and coordinates the distribution of child safety seats to families in need. We develop partnerships with Mississippi stakeholders to refer families to established distribution sites in their local community.
The Child Passenger Safety team’s goals are to reduce the number of motor vehicle crash injuries and fatalities to unrestrained and improperly restrained children in Mississippi, to serve as a lead education and training resource for the public, and to help build program capacity and sustainability.
The distribution program is available to a limited number of eligible Mississippi recipients with small children.
Eligibility requirements for receiving a safety seat at no cost:
More than one seat per child is not allowed (For example: for additional vehicles or caregivers). The parent/caregiver should receive education for each varying seat type distributed to the household in need.
Contact the Child Passenger Safety State Coordinator by e-mail at email@example.com
Your child is ready to ride with a seat belt after passing the Five Point Test:
If you answered "no" to any of the above questions, your child should still ride in a booster seat. If they pass the test, they're ready for a seat belt.
ALWAYS require safety belt use for all passengers and model good behavior. Make car safety a family habit!
Child Passenger Safety Technicians educate parents and caregivers on how to properly use car seats. CPS Technicians provide personalized instruction about how to properly install a car seat in a vehicle, as well as how to properly secure a child in the car seat.
Most Mississippi Responders are not certified as CPSTs. Please check with our team to verify a technician’s status.
Caregivers currently receiving Medicaid, WIC, SNAP or any other federal assistance or in the third trimester of pregnancy. A caregiver’s household must qualify as low-income if not currently receiving federal assistance. Caregivers are considered to be the parent or legal guardian, including foster parent, of the child receiving a seat.
In addition to being eligible, caregivers are required to receive child passenger safety education for each seat type (if varied).
Child passenger safety education may be offered virtually or in person, in group or individual appointments.
Eligible caregivers can receive a seat for multiple children in the same household that he/she is the parent or legal guardian of if need is identified by program staff.
Every recall is important and should be taken seriously as defects may pose a threat to occupants’ safety.
Can a car or booster seat be installed? Lap belts work fine with rear-facing–only, convertible, and forward-facing seats that have a harness but can never be used with a booster seat. If your car has only lap belts, use a forward-facing seat that has a harness and higher weight limits.
A car safety seat should be approved for a baby's weight. Very small babies who can sit safely in a semi-reclined position usually fit better in rear-facing–only seats. Babies born preterm should be screened while still in the hospital to make sure they can sit safely in a semi-reclined position.
It's best to avoid this, especially if your vehicle has airbags in the front seat. All children younger than 13 years should ride in the back seat.
The safest car seat is the one that fits your child properly, is easy to use, and fits in your vehicle correctly. Car seats are only effective if used correctly. NHTSA estimates that 3 out of 4 car seats are installed incorrectly.
Moving your child out of a booster seat too soon. Seat belts are designed to fit adults, not children. Improper seat belt fit can result in abdominal or neck injury in a crash or sudden stop.
Adding additional padding, toys or mirrors to your child’s car seat. Using products that have not been tested with the car seat may interfere with how the seat was designed to perform in a crash. Loose items, such as mirrors, can also become a dangerous projectile in a sudden stop or crash.
Installing a car seat with more than one system may put unnecessary stress on the car seat and affect its performance in the event of a crash. Install the car seat in approved seating positions with LATCH OR the seat belt. Do not use more than one system unless the car seat manufacturer and vehicle manufacturer permit it.
Unapproved padding, including coats and sweaters, placed behind or under the harness can compress in a crash, creating slack in the harness system. We recommend placing blankets or jackets over the child after the harness is snug and secure.
For more information, call the Mississippi State Department of Health's Occupant Protection division at 601-206-1559.
Links referenced on this page
|Traffic Safety Facts||https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/813285|
|Keep Child Passengers Safe on the Road||https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/child-passenger-safety/|
|Check for car seat eligibility||https://apps.msdh.ms.gov/redcap/surveys/?s=CEHMKXMYNFKKDNLP|
|car safety seats||https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls|
|Distribution and education||https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats|
|Becoming a certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technician||https://cert.safekids.org/become-tech|
|Child Safety Seat Recalls (NHTSA)||https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls|
|Child Safety Seat Ease of Use Ratings (NHTSA)||https://www.nhtsa.gov/campaign/safercargov?redirect-safercar-sitewide|
|Traffic Safety Information (NHTSA)||https://www.nhtsa.gov/|
|Injury Prevention for Children (Safe Kids)||https://www.safekids.org/parents-guide-child-safety|
|Ultimate Car Seat Guide (Safe Kids Worldwide)||https://ucsg.safekids.org/|
|Find your state's Child Passenger Safety Training Contacts (NHTSA)||https://www.nhtsa.gov/car-seats-and-booster-seats/training-contacts-state-child-passenger-safety|
Find this page at http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/index.cfm/index.cfm