Car Seat Program

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Holmes County General Health District's Car Seat Program provides car seats for families (and meet WIC eligibility guidelines) without child safety seats through The Ohio Buckles Buckeyes program. The HCGHD also provides education on car seats to parents/caretakers. Parents/caretakers are trained on proper installation and use of the seats and the seat is properly secured in the car by a trained child passenger safety technician/health educator.

Applications are available on the Holmes County General Health District website, by completing the online survey, or you can obtain a paper application by contacting health educator Abbigail Benton at HCGHD.

Abbigail Benton contact info: email abenton@holmeshealth.org or call (330)-674-5035 ext. 224

The Ohio Buckles Buckeyes (OBB) Program

The Ohio Department of Health's child passenger safety (CPS) program, Ohio
Buckles Buckeyes (OBB), provides child safety seats and booster seats to eligible
low income families in all Ohio counties.

G­oal of Program: to increase availability of child safety seats for families that would not otherwise be able to afford them and to increase correct installation and proper use of child safety seats.

Requirements of Program: Families must be within WIC eligibility guidelines and must attend an educational class on how to properly use the car seat for their child and how to correctly install the seat in their vehicle, taught by the OBB coordinator in county of residence.

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Ohio Car Seat Law 4511.81

Ohio Car Seat Law ORC 4511.81

Law: Under 4 years of age or less than 40 pounds required to be in a child safety seat according to car seat instructions

RECOMMENDATION: Children who have outgrown their rear facing car seat should use a forward-facing seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat

Law: 4 to 8-year old who weigh 40 pounds or more and are shorter than 4 feet 9 inches are required to be in a booster seat or other approved safety seat according to car seat instructions

RECOMMENDATION: Children whose height or weight is above the forward-facing limit should use a booster seat until the vehicle seat belt fits properly.

Law: Requires children age 8-15 to be in seat belts no matter where they are in the car

RECOMMENDATION: Children younger than 13 years old should be restrained using a lap and shoulder belt in the rear seats of the car for optimal protection

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How do I choose the right seat for my child?

The right car seat for a child should be selected based on a child’s height and weight, age, and developmental level. Consider these factors when choosing the right seat:

  • Height and weight - Car seats have height and weight limits, and can have different limits for each type of use (such as forward-facing or rear-facing). Parents and caregivers should weigh and measure their child and refer to the car seat’s labels and manual to determine limits and whether it is appropriate for the child. If a child’s height or weight has exceeded the limit, the child has outgrown the car seat. A child has outgrown a rear-facing car seat when the top of the head is only 1 inch below the top of the car seat shell.
  • Age - a child should remain rear-facing as long as possible, or at least until 2 years of age, or they reach the height or weight limit of the seat. It is also safest to keep a child in a five-point harness for as long as possible.
  • Developmental levels - children with special healthcare needs, such as poor head control or behavioral concerns, may benefit from staying rear-facing or riding in a five-point harness as long as possible.
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How long should my child remain rear facing?

A child should remain rear-facing as long as possible, or at least until 2 years of age, or they reach the height or weight limit of the seat.

Why should my child be rear-facing to a minimum of 2 years of age?

Babies’ bodies are still developing and those developmental changes make them more vulnerable than an adult. Their bones are soft and their spinal column can bend or stretch up to two inches but the spinal cord may break after ¼ inch of pull. The largest part of a baby’s body is their head, so if forward-faced too soon, the head moves forward with tremendous force and could cause the spinal cord to break causing paralysis or death. Rear-facing, the child’s body is supported by the shell of the car seat, thus protecting the spine. For more information about why rear-facing is the safest option click here

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Why should my child be in a booster seat?

Booster seats provide head, neck, and back support. Booster seats place the seat belt off a child’s head and neck, and across their chest. It positions the lap belt low on a child’s hip and not on the stomach. Without a booster seat, the lap belt can ride up onto the stomach and cause stomach or spinal cord injuries in a crash.

When should I move my child from a booster seat to a seat belt?

A child should remain in a booster seat until a child can use a seatbelt and it can be positioned comfortably on them, so it is snug, flat, and falls across their chest and low on their hips. It is safest for the child to remain in a booster seat until the adult seat belt system fits them properly as follows:

  • The child is tall enough to sit against the vehicle seat back with their knees bent at the edge of the seat without slouching.
  • The shoulder belt lies in middle of their chest and shoulder, not their neck or throat.
  • The lap belt is low and snug across the upper thighs, not the belly.
  • The child can stay in this position comfortably throughout the entire trip.