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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Keep Your Child Safe in the Passenger Seat

As a parent, keeping your child safe and healthy is your number one priority, including when riding in the car. The California Child Passenger Safety Law reminds parents to have age-appropriate passenger restraint systems (such as car seats and booster seats) and install them correctly.

Here are the four categories:

  • Infants are required to ride in rear facing seats in the back seat of the vehicle from birth to at least one year old and at least 20 pounds.
  • Toddlers are required to ride in forward facing seats in the back seat from age one and 20 pounds to about age four and 40 pounds.
  • Pre-schoolers are required to ride in booster seats in the back seat for children over 40 pounds to at least age six or 60 pounds.
  • Children who are at least six years old or weigh at least 60 pounds must wear safety belts.

To make sure your car seat is correctly installed, parents are encouraged to have a “car seat check up” provided by one of the following organizations.

Sonoma County:

  • American Medical Response by appointment 570-2808
  • Baby News Outlet, Santa Rosa by appointment 542-1006
  • Bianchi Traffic Safety Service by appointment 579-3485
  • California Highway Patrol by appointment 588-1400
  • Cloverdale Police Department by appointment 894-2150
  • Healdsburg Fire Department Mon–Fri, by appointment 431-3360
  • Rancho Adobe Fire Department by appointment 795-6011
  • River Child Care Services, Guerneville by appointment 887-1809
  • Rohnert Park Public Safety by appointment 584-2649
  • Santa Rosa Junior College by appointment 527-1000
  • Sonoma Police Department Tue–Fri 6 a.m.–2 p.m., by appt. 996-3602
  • Windsor Police Department by appointment 838-1234

Mendocino & Lake Counties:

  • California Highway Patrol, Kelseyville by appointment 279-0103
  • California Highway Patrol, Ukiah by appointment 467-4040
  • Cloverdale Police Department by appointment 894-2150
  • Mendocino County Public Health by appointment 472-2695

For car seat and booster seat education and distribution programs:

  • California Parenting Institute Santa Rosa 585-6108
  • Coppertowers Family Medical Center Cloverdale 894-4229 x155
  • River Child Care Services Guerneville 887-1807

For more information on the Child Passenger Safety Law, visit

For 2006 Child Safety Seat Ratings, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety website at