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Child Passenger Safety

We care about keeping your child SAFE

Car SeatChildren are not small adults. They need health care that is tailored to their unique needs, involves their parents from start to finish and is provided in places designed to be kid-sized and child-friendly.

That's why the children of Southern Appalachia need Niswonger Children's Hospital.  Niswonger Children's Hospital serves apopulation of more than 200,000 children in a 29-county service that includes portions of Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky.

This hospital was designed to provide for the unique needs of children and combines compassionate, personalized care with state-of-the-art technology.

Niswonger Children's Hospital is dedicated to ensuring that every child has access to high-quality, cost-effective healthcare services.

 About Booster Seats
  • If a child has reached the top weight and/or height limit for a forward facing seat, it's time to transition to a belt-positioning booster seat.
  • When a booster seat is correctly positioned, the seat belt fits over the shoulders and hips much like an adult seat belt fit.
  • People who are not buckled up can be thrown from the car or around inside the car, and seriously hurt themselves or others.
  • Children should ride in a booster seat in the back seat of the vehicle until the child is at least 4-feet 9-inches (57 inches) tall, usually around age 9.

About Seat Belts

    • Children under age 13 should ride in the back seat.
    • There must be one safety belt for each person
    • Seat belts can be used for children when:
      * They can stay in position for the entire ride and keep the lap belt low and snug across the upper thighs/lower hips.
    • They can sit with back and hips against the seat back and sit without slouching.
    • The child can bend his/her knees easily over the front edge of the seat with flat feet on the floor.
     Is your child safe riding in your CAR? Take this quiz to find out.

          Choose the RIGHT car seat for your child

           There is no one "best" car seat for your child; choose the one that best fits your child.  The longer you can leave your child in the most secure position, the safer your child will be.  Keep these points in mind when shopping:
          • Purchasing a safety seat with higher weight limits will allow your child to ride safer for longer
          • Use your child's size as the guide to moving them into a forward-facing booster or seat belt.
          • Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible.
          • All new car seats and booster seats come with a registration form so you can be notified of recalls.
          About Rear Facing Seats

          • The rear-facing position is the SAFEST for infants and toddlers.
          • All children under age 2 should ride rear-facing.
          • Use a rear-facing convertible seat when the child outgrows the infant seat.
          • Make sure the harness retainer clip is at armpit level.
          • Harnesses are most effective when not used with extra layers of clothing.
          • NEVER place a rear-facing child restraint in front of an air bag.
          • ALWAYS read the owner's manual instructions for properly installing a child safety seat.
          • Check regularly to make sure your child meets the safety height and weight requirements.

          About Forward Facing Seats

          • Laws and recommendations vary, but children should move into a forward-facing safety seat when they are 2 years old.
          • Children should remain in a forward-facing child restraint with a full harness until they reach the top weight and height allowed by the safety seat.
          • It's safer for a child to remain in a harness as long as possible.
          • Choose the harness slot at or above the shoulders.
          • Always check the manufacturer's instructions for the highest height allowed by the harness.
            Warning: The back seat is the safest place in a crash. Children age 12 and under should ride properly restrained in back. Infants riding rear-facing must NEVER be placed in front of an airbag.


            To make SURE your child's car seat is installed correctly, contact The Health Advocacy Department at Niswonger Children's Hospital to schedule an appointment:  423-431-4647 or

            For more information about Niswonger Children's Hospital, call Joanna Swinehart at 423-431-1014 or e-mail

            This webpage contains guidelines for both Tennessee and Virginia.  For more information, call the DOT Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-DASH-2-DOT.