Marshall County
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National Child Passenger Safety Week

September 20, 2021 at 11:08 am

National Child Passenger Safety Week September 19-25


This week is recognized as National Child Passenger Safety Week.  The purpose of this national campaign is to bring awareness to the importance of child passenger safety. Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children, according to the latest NHTSA data. A child is involved in a crash while riding in a passenger vehicle, on average, every 25 seconds. When installed correctly, car seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury in a crash by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers.

Child passenger safety and child passenger safety seats have come a long way over the years.  Many older adults can recall riding in cars without seatbelts and children riding on the laps of their parents or taking naps on the floorboard of the car.  Iowa’s seatbelt law was not put into law until 1986.  It’s worth noting that in 1988 there were 557 fatalities from traffic crashes in Iowa compared to 337 in 2020.  According to a study by the University of Iowa’s Injury Prevention Research Center, child restraint use has increased from 45.9% in 1988 to 96.3% in 2019.  Increased seat belt and child restraint use is one major factor in reducing those fatality rates along with safer vehicles and roadways. 

Iowa’s child passenger safety law states that infants must be rear-facing until at least one year old AND 20 pounds.  All children must be in child safety seat or booster seat until at least age 6 and then properly fit the vehicle seat belt.  Seatbelts are required for all children until age 18 in all seating positions in the vehicle. 

Some tips for child passenger safety:

-Infants should be in a rear-facing child safety seat until they reach the weight limit of the rear-facing seat, then move to a forward-facing seat with harness straps.

-Children should remain in forward-facing harness seats until they reach the weight or height limit, then move to a booster seat

-Children should remain in a booster seat until they reach the weight limit of the booster and they can properly fit in the vehicle seat belt.  Proper fit means with knees bent and lower legs pointing down toward the floorboard with the should harness across the shoulder and lap belt across the hips. 

-The back seat is the safest place for children to ride.  Avoid children sitting in front seats with airbags whenever possible.  Do not install rear-facing child seats in front of airbags.

-Child safety seats have expiration dates.  Don’t use expired seats.  The plastic and fabric components weaken over time and may not properly protect your child during a crash.

-Install the child safety seat snugly.  There should be less than 1 inch of movement front to back and side to side.  Make sure to use the top tether during forward facing installations.

-Children watch the adults in the vehicle.  Make sure you are wearing your seatbelt and not driving distracted.

If you need assistance with child safety seats, have questions, or need to schedule a child safety seat install or inspection please call 641-754-5725 or email:  You can also visit the NHTSA website for tips and advice:

 The Marshall County, Iowa Sheriff's Office is led by Sheriff Joel Phillips and is committed to keeping communities and neighborhoods safe in Marshall County.  For additional information contact Chief Deputy Ben Veren, 641-754-6380 or



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This webpage was printed on November 27, 2022. For the most current information, visit the Marshall County, Iowa, Sheriff website at
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