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

Child Safety Seat Fitting Services

At this time, Aptos/La Selva Fire Protection District does not have personnel certified in helping install or properly fit car seats. For these services, you may contact the following agencies:

  • AAA of Capitola, (831) 824-9141
  • AAA of Watsonville, (831) 768-4570 (se habla Español)
  • Boulder Creek Fire Protection District, (831) 338-7222
  • California Highway Patrol, (831) 662-0511
  • Capitola Police Department, (831) 475-4242 (se habla Español) 
  • Scotts Valley Fire Protection District, (831) 438-0211
  • Watsonville Fire Department, (831) 768-3200 (se habla Español)

Child passenger safety events are also held at Dominican Hospital.  For information or an appointment for one of these events, contact (831) 462-7266 or email Jennifer Blanke at

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 the SEATS for KIDS Program Sites is listed below:

For Santa Cruz/North County:

Phone: (831) 454-5477


For Watsonville/South County:  

Phone: (831) 454-4317


Additional Child Passenger Safety Resources