Safety and Injury Prevention
Did you know that car crashes are the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 13? Correctly used child safety seat can significantly reduce the risk of injury or death in children and yet only 17% of car seats in Broome County are being used correctly. Our Child Passenger Safety Programs can guide parents and caregivers about the safest ways to transport their children.
Free Car Seat Education and Distribution Program:
This program is designed to educate parents and caregivers about the proper ways to transport children using child safety seats and seat belts and to provide appropriate car seats to eligible families. It is an EDUCATION program NOT a giveaway service.
To receive a free car seat, parents and caregivers must:
• Receive some type of public assistance such as WIC or Medicaid and provide proof of such service.
• Watch an online educational video about child passenger safety and complete a short survey.
• Fully participate in a hands-on appointment with a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician by demonstrating the proper use of their new seat. We cannot distribute car seats to caseworks, friends, or family members.
• Have the child/children present at the appointment, unless the participant is expecting.
• Have a vehicle present at the appointment. We cannot provide seats to caregivers who arrive in public transportation or a ride-sharing service.
If you are expecting a baby, it is strongly encouraged to call the program around your 7th month of pregnancy. Car seats cannot be distributed before your last trimester.
Although we understand that certain situations arise and are unavoidable, our program cannot accommodate emergency situations, so please plan accordingly as best you can.
Car seats are provided with a grant from the NYS Governor's Traffic Safety Committee and all grant requirements must be followed.
Click on Car Seat Education and Distribution Program Application and complete the form to see if you qualify for a free car seat. Our Program Coordinator will follow-up with a phone call to complete the process. For questions, call (607) 778-2807.
Car Seat Inspections
Need help with a car seat installation? Make an appointment at any of our local fitting stations and meet one-on-one with a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. At your appointment, your technician will check to make sure you have the right car seat based on your child's age, weight, and height, that it is correctly installed into the vehicle and that the child is properly harnessed. All Fitting Stations are by appointment only. Please call for available dates and times.
• AAA Northway
3701 Vestal Parkway East, Suite 9, Vestal
• Binghamton Police Department
38 Hawley Street, Binghamton
• Broome County Health Department
225 Front Street, Binghamton
• Endicott Fire Department
224 Madison Avenue, Endicott
• Union Volunteer Emergency Squad
8 South Avenue B, Endwell
(607) 754-3414 ext. 223 or visit http://www.unionems.com/
• Vestal Police Department
605 Vestal Parkway West, Vestal
(607) 754-2386 ext. 481
• New York State Police
• Johnson City Fire Department
320 Harry L Drive, Johnson City
Child Safety Seat Check Events
At a Car Seat Check Event, Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians are available to help check car seats for correct use. Families and caregivers do not need to have an appointment and are assisted on a first come, first served basis.
At an event, be sure to bring your:
• Child Safety Seat
• Child safety seat and vehicle manuals, if available.
For questions about Child Safety Seat Check Events, call 607-778-2807.
The Child Fatality Review Team (CFRT) is a multidisciplinary team of professionals that review the death of any child under the age of 18 whose death is unexpected or unexplained. The mission of CFRT is to improve our understanding of how and why children die, develop and promote a county-wide system of child death review and response, identify systemic and policy issues, and to identify public health interventions to improve child health, safety and protection.
Child Passenger Safety FAQ
In New York State, all children must ride in an appropriate child restraint system while riding in a motor vehicle until they reach their 8th birthday.
All children under the age of 2 must ride in a rear-facing car seat. If the child has outgrown an infant seat, it is recommended that a larger, rear-facing convertible or all-in-one car seat with a higher rear-facing height and weight limits be used.
An appropriate child restrain system is one that meets your child’s size and weight recommended by the manufacturer. Seat belts are NOT designed for children.
To maximize safety, keep your child in a child safety seat for as long as possible, up to the car seat’s maximum height or weight requirements. Learn more about Car Seat Recommendations Car Seat & Booster Seat Safety, Ratings, Guidelines | NHTSA) by visiting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Want to know more about specific brands of seats? Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics (Car Seats: Product Listing for 2022 - HealthyChildren.org) for their current product listing.
Yes! All car seats expire. It depends on your make and model that determines how long they are good to use. Check your car seat’s labels and instructors for an expiration date and DO NOT use it past the date stated.
If you are considering using a second-hand car seat, use the checklist below. If you can check off each one of these statements, then the second-hand seat may be okay to use.
- The seat has never been involved in a moderate to severe crash.
- The seat has labels stating date of manufacture and model number. You need this information to find out if there is a recall on the car seat or if the seat is too old.
- The seat has no recalls. If you do find a recall on the car seat, you should contact the manufacturer as some problems can be fixed.
- The seat has all its parts. If the seat is missing a part, contact the manufacturer as some parts can be ordered.
- The seat has its instruction book. You can also order the instruction manual from the manufacturer.
NHTSA recommends that car seats be replaced following a moderate or severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers. Car seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash. Click here( Car Seat Use After a Crash: Replacing Car Seats | NHTSA) to find out what defines a minor crash.
What defines a minor crash?
A minor crash is one in which ALL of the following apply:
- The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site.
- The vehicle door nearest the car seat was not damaged.
- None of the passengers in the vehicle sustained any injuries in the crash.
- If the vehicle has air bags, the air bags did not deploy during the crash; and
- There is no visible damage to the car seat.
NEVER use a car seat that has been involved in a moderate to severe crash. Always follow manufacturer's instructions.
The New York State Department of Health has educational materials for children, educators, and law enforcement. Plus, their materials are FREE! Check out their website at Car Seats, Booster Seats, and Seat Belts (ny.gov) Need materials in different languages? The Center has you covered. Visit their website here: https://www.thecenterutica.org/community-resources/multilingual-materials/child-passenger-safety-program
Thank you for your interest in becoming a nationally certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. All prospective technicians must take and pass the CPS Certification Course and pay a course fee of $95. Learn more about the course and where to sign up at Welcome! | National CPS Certification (safekids.org).