Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 6: Play Areas/Playgrounds and Transportation

6.5 Transportation

6.5.2 Transportation Safety Child Behavior During Transportation

COVID-19 modification as of March 20, 2023.

After reading the CFOC standard, see COVID-19 modification below (Also consult applicable state licensure and public health requirements).

Children, as both passengers and pedestrians, should be instructed in safe transportation behavior using terms and concepts appropriate for their age and stage of development.

  COVID-19 modification as of March 20, 2023:

In response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s COVID-19 Guidance for Operating Early Care and Education/Child Care Programs, it is recommended that early childhood programs consult local health officials and other state, local, tribal and territorial authorities, to the extent feasible, when making decisions about transporting children. Use the CDC’s COVID-19 CDC Data tracker for up-to-date information on transmission in your community. 

When transporting children:

  • Allow fresh air to pass through the vehicle through vents or windows while transporting children in and out of vehicles as weather permits.
  • Do not transport individuals who show signs of illness.

Clean Vehicles Between Each Use

  • Transportation staff should clean vehicle surfaces at least once a day. Refer to CDC's recommended process using products that are U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19. Make sure all surfaces are dry before children enter vehicles to prevent contact with chemicals.
  • For seatbelts, and other child safety restraints, programs should use methods and products that are effective on COVID-19 and safe for use with the restraint system, particularly seatbelt webbing. Chlorine- or ammonia-based solutions may cause deterioration of safety restraint components and cannot be used. For cleaning guidelines, consult the vehicle or restraint system manufacturer.

Additional Resources:

Center’s for Disease Control and Prevention.  Cleaning Your Facility: Every day and when someone Is sick
American Academy of Pediatrics. Covid-19 and Safe Transportation in Motor Vehicles  



Teaching passenger safety to children reduces injury from motor vehicle crashes to young children (2). Young children need to develop skills that will aid them in assuming responsibility for their own health and safety, and these skills can be developed through health and safety education implemented during the early years (1,3). Supervision of children will help to reinforce appropriate behaviors.
Examples of safe behavior training include wearing seat belts and staying in position. Curricula and materials can be obtained from state departments of transportation, the American Automobile Association (AAA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Red Cross, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
  1. Lehman, G. R., E. S. Geller. 1990. Participative education for children: An effective approach to increase safety belt use. J Appl Behav Anal 23:219-25.
  2. Windome, M. D., ed. 1997. Injury prevention and control for children and youth. 3rd ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.
  3. Kane, W. M., K. E. Herrera. 1993. Safety is no accident: Children’s activities in injury prevention. Santa Cruz, CA: ETR Associates.

COVID-19 modification as of March 20, 2023.