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Child Passenger Safety

Help Protect Children with the Correct Car Seat

W.H.A.L.E. (We Have A Little Emergency) CHECK is part of our FDOT Community Traffic Safety Programs’s Child Passenger Safety (CPS) awareness campaign. The W.H.A.L.E. CHECK program has been going strong for over 20 years and is key to helping educate caregivers about the proper child safety seats.

For complete details about the Child Passenger Safety W.H.A.L.E. CHECK program, including the informational flyer and video, click here.

Click here to download the W.H.A.L.E. CHECK as a one-page, printable PDF flyer to distribute at car seat checks, traffic safety events, daycare centers, pediatrician offices, government agencies and hospitals throughout Florida. This 8.5×11 flyer may be printed on label or sticker sheets for parents to easily adhere the information label to their child’s car seat.

whale check program flyer
FDOT CPS Child Safety Seat PSA
Car seat crusaders artwork

Attention Parents and Caregivers – Be a Hero… Safeguard Your Child with the Right Car Seat! Follow and Share these Recommended Child Passenger Safety Guidelines:

Rear-Facing Seat: Birth until age 2 or when child reaches the upper height or weight limit of seat (typically around 35 pounds).

Forward-Facing Seat: Your child should have a forward-facing seat with a harness until he or she reaches the manufacturer’s upper height or weight limit of the seat (typically 40-65 pounds).

Belt-Positioning Booster Seat: Protect your child with this seat until he or she is at least 4’9’’ (typically 8-12 years of age). Proper positioning of your car’s safety belt system is crucial in preventing or minimizing injury in case of a crash.

Lap and Shoulder Belts: Be sure the lap belt lies across the hips and the shoulder belt across the center of the shoulder and chest. Your child’s legs should bend comfortably at the seat’s edge, with his or her back resting flat against the back of the seat. Once the safety belt fits properly without a booster, your child no longer needs a special seat. All children under 13 should sit in the back seat.

Properly install the child safety seat and follow manufacturer’s instructions. Always check the manual for both your car and the child safety seat for proper installation guidelines.

Child Safety Seat Tips:

  • The seat should be strapped in tight – not be able to move it more than one inch in any direction at the belt path, and always use the top tether when forward facing.
  • The chest clip should be at armpit level and the harness snug – straps tight enough so that you cannot pinch the fabric of the harness at the shoulders.
  • Children age 13 and under should ride in the back seat.
  • Older children no longer need a special seat if their legs bend comfortably at the seat’s edge with their back resting flat against the back of the seat.

Free Resources

Social Media

Be a Community Traffic Safety Team “Virtual Volunteer”. Share these child passenger safety reminders on your social media accounts. Don’t forget to tag us! @trafficsafetyteam on Facebook and Instagram or @trafficsafetyfl on Twitter and Pinterest.

Car Seat Crusaders
Buckle Up family
Car Seat Crusaders
Child Safety Seat Requirements – English
Car Seat Crusaders - in Spanish
Child Safety Seat Requirements – Spanish

Activity Sheet

Print this free “Ride Safe!” activity sheet for kids! It includes child passenger safety tips, a road test, a maze, and a crossword puzzle.


Download and share “The Adventures in Car Seat Safety!” with the recommended CPS car seat guidelines in a printable flyer.

The Adventures in Car Seat Safety

KIDS: Be Smart. Buckle Up. And remind your parents and others in the car to buckle up too! Check out our activity sheets made just for you.