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Wellness Resources

Child Safety Seat Fitting

Oswego Health cares about the safety of your child. Free car seat safety checks are available through the emergency department at Oswego Hospital.

Free safety checks are available on Wednesdays and Fridays by appointment with a state-certified child passenger safety technician. Interested parents should call 315.349.5712.

Car Seat Regulations

New York state law requires children under the age of 8 to be restrained in a federally approved and appropriate car seat when riding in a motor vehicle.

Guidelines for Parents

Birth up to 2 years

Children under age 1 year should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing car seats:

  • Infant-only seats can only be used in the rear-facing position
  • Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time

2 to 3 years

Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat's manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness, usually around age 2.

4 to 8 years (up until the child's 9th birthday)

Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it's time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat. Always use both the shoulder and lap belts with all booster seats.

New York state law requires that all children 8 and under be in an approved and appropriate car seat.

9 to 12 years

Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in an adult seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly, the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember: Your child should still ride in the back seat, always using both the shoulder and lap belts, because it's safer there.

Until age 16

A youth age 16 or under must wear a seat belt regardless if he or she is riding in the front or back seat.

W.H.A.L.E. Program

Oswego Health is implementing a new free vehicle safety program for young children, We Have A Little Emergency, or WHALE.

This national program provides vital information to emergency responders on the children who have been in a car accident, where the adults in the vehicle are incapacitated.

Through the WHALE program, stickers are placed on both the rear side windows of a vehicle and on both sides of the child safety seat, informing emergency responders that the driver is program participant. The WHALE car seat sticker includes the child's name, medical history, names and telephone numbers of two guardians and up to three other emergency names and their phone numbers. Since state law requires young children to in be a car seat when riding in a car, the car seat is the perfect place for placing vital information.

Oswego Health is providing information on the WHALE program and the related stickers at community events. They will also be distributed to local pediatrician offices.

Helping to support this Oswego Health program is the Oswego Hospital Auxiliary.

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