Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Week, September 19-25, is designed to increase awareness of the importance of properly restraining children in motor vehicles. Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children. On average, two children under 13 were killed and an estimated 374 were injured every day in 2019 while riding in cars, SUVs, pickups, and vans.

  • 608 child passenger vehicle occupants died in traffic crashes in 2019.
  • 38% of children who died in 2019 while riding in passenger vehicles were unrestrained, compared to 33% in 2018.

That’s why it is so important to have children in correctly installed child passenger safety seats. Ohio’s child restraint law  (ORC 4511.81) requires all children who are both under age 4 and under 40 pounds to be in properly used child restraints in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions (primary enforcement). Ohio law also requires children less than 8 years of age or less than 4’9” in height to be properly secured in a booster seat (secondary enforcement).

Richland Public Health has three Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPST) to help you ensure correct installs of your child’s seat. We do free inspections of any existing seat installs, including infants seats, by appointment. Call 419-774-4726 to make an appointment.

Richland Public Health, through the Ohio Department of Health’s “Ohio Buckles Buckeyes” program, also has a limited supply of no-cost child passenger car seats. These are convertible seats for ages six months up to 4-years-old. These seat go rear-facing until about two-years-old when they can be turned forward facing. We do not have infant carrier seats.

To qualify, you must meet these requirements:

  • Child is 6-months old and less than five-years-old.
  • You are a resident of Richland County
  • You are registered with the WIC program or on Medicaid
  • You have a vehicle to install the seat in. All seats must be installed in your own vehicle.

If you meet those qualifications, call our CPST at 419-774-4726 for an appointment. If no one answers, leave your name, a call back number, and the age of your child. If we run out of seats, your name will be placed on a waiting list.