Child Seat Safety

    Car Seat

    The Coventry Police Department, together with the RI Safe Kids Coalition provide members of the community with the opportunity to have their child safety seat checked and installed by a Child Passenger Safety Technician. Currently the department has five CPS Technicians. These officers have been specially trained on Child Passenger Safety. This training includes proper child safety seat installation. Studies have shown that over 80% of child seats are incorrectly installed. The Coventry Police Department has trained officers in a effort to make sure our children are transported safely. This service is provided to members of the community free of charge. Please call ahead to make sure a CPS technician is on duty. If you have any questions or concerns about properly transporting your children, please contact the Coventry Police Department.

    Check our website's calendar, by clicking HERE, for the list of times and locations where we hold our free Child Seat Safety Check Events, typically on a Thursday, two to three times a month.


    Car crashes remain the number one killer of children ages 3-14 in the United States. Safe Kids Buckle Up, the largest program of Safe Kids Worldwide, teaches parents and caregivers to use the right safety gear for their kids in their vehicles on every ride.



    STEP 1 – Infants –  Use a rear-facing car seat to at least age 2 and 30 lbs. Use your rear-facing car seat longer if the seat has higher weight and height limits. Take the next step to a forward-facing car seat when your child is at least two years old and you answer “Yes” to either question.

    • Does your child exceed the car seat’s rear-facing height and weight limits?
    • Is your child’s head within one inch of the car seat top?

    STEP 2- Toddlers –  Use a forward-facing car seat (convertible or combo seat) until the child outgrows the height and weight limit for the 5-point harness straps. Take the next step to a booster seat when you answer “Yes” to any of these questions.

    • Does your child exceed the car seat’s height and weight limits?
    • Are your child’s shoulders above the car seat’s top harness slots?
    • Are the tops of your child’s ears above the car seat?

    STEP 3 – Boosters –  Use a booster seat with the vehicle lap and shoulder safety belts until your child passes the Safety Belt Fit Test. Take the next step to the safety belt when you answer “Yes” to these questions.

    • Does your child exceed the booster seat’s height and weight limits?
    • Does your child pass the Safety Belt Fit Test in all vehicles used?

    Safety Belt Fit Test!

    1. Have your child sit all the way back on the vehicle seat. Do his or her knees bend at the front edge of the seatIf they bend naturally, go to #2. If they don’t, return to the booster seat.
    2. Buckle the lap and shoulder belt. Be sure the lap belt rests on the upper legs or hips. If it does, go to #3. If it rests on the stomach, return to the booster seat.
    3. Be sure the shoulder belt rests on the shoulder or collarbone. If it does, go to #4. If it’s on the face or neck, return to the booster seat. Never put the shoulder belt under the child’s arm or behind the child’s back.
    4. Check whether your child maintains the correct seating position for as long as you are in the car. If your child slouches or shifts positions so the safety belt touches the face, neck or stomach, return your child to the booster seat.

    STEP 4 – Safety Belts –  Once your child passes the Safety Belt Fit Test, require him or her to use safety belts in a back seat in every vehicle on every ride, whether or not you are there. A lap and shoulder belt provides the best protection to your child and helps him or her to maintain the correct seating position. Safe Kids Buckle Up, a program operated in partnership with Chevrolet and General Motors for 10 years, provides free inspections of car seats, shows you how to install and adjust car seats properly, and evaluates older kids for safety belt fit at permanent locations throughout the country and at community events, some of which are served by their Mobile Car Seat Check Up Van.