Child Safety Seats

Child Safety Seat Guidelines

Beginning January 1, 2017 children under 2 years old must ride in a rear-facing car seat unless they weigh 40 lbs. or heavier, or are 3’ 4” or taller.  California Child Passenger Safety Law states that children shorter than 4' 9" tall must ride in a booster seat because they are too small to fit safely in the seat belt without the booster.  

 Vehicle safety belts should fit as follows:
 
  • Lap belt low (touching the thighs)
  • Shoulder belt across the middle of chest and shoulder (not under the arm or the behind back) 
  • Knees bent comfortably without slouching  
If a seat belt does not fit your child as described above, you must have them ride in a booster!  To ensure your child is safe while riding in a motor vehicle, review this child passenger safety primer from healthychildren.org.

Child Safety Seat Fitting Services

At this time, Central Fire District does not have personnel certified in helping install or properly fit car seats.  For these services, you may contact the following agencies. NOTE - a number of agencies have their programs on hold temporarily due to the ongoing pandemic. We will update as more locations become available. As of the last update in June 2021, only Scotts Valley FD and Watsonville FD were taking appointments:

  • AAA of Capitola, (831) 824-9141 - Program on hold 
  • AAA of Watsonville, (831) 768-4570 (se habla Español) - Program on hold
  • California Highway Patrol, (831) 662-0511 - Program on hold
  • Scotts Valley Fire Protection District, (831) 438-0211 - By Appointment
  • Watsonville Fire Department, (831) 768-3200 (se habla Español) - By Appointment
Santa Cruz County Child Passenger Safety Resources Flyer
Santa Cruz County Child Passenger Safety Resources Flyer - En Español

SEATS for KIDS Program

Child safety seats are available for low-income families through Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency’s SEATS for KIDS Program, with funds from County Vehicle Code fine revenues, grants and private donations.  Availability of car seats is limited, and on a first come/first serve basis.  A $15-$30 donation is requested.  For more information, call (831) 454-5477.  

Contact information for SEATS for KIDS Program Sites is listed below:

For Santa Cruz/North County
Phone: (831) 454-5477
Email:  Lynn Laurdsen

For Watsonville/South County
Phone: (831) 454-4317
Email: Kithy Chaves