Did you know that every year thousands of young children are killed or injured in crashes? This occurs mainly because nationally, 3 out of every 4 children in child safety seats are not properly secured or, even worse, not restrained at all. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for children ages 1 through 12. It's time we did something about this.
Texas is doing its part by requiring that every passenger in each vehicle wear a safety belt. If a rider isn't buckled in, they'll receive a citation. What's more, any child passenger younger than 8 (unless they're taller than 4 feet 9 inches) must be buckled up according to the instructions of the safety seat's manufacturer.
How can you help improve the odds for your child? Easy. Read and follow the directions below:
Which seat is right for your child?
All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing safety seat until they are 2 years old, or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their safety seat's manufacturer.
CONVERTIBLE OR FORWARD-FACING SEAT
Any child 2 or older who has outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit for a safety seat, should use a forward-facing safety seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by their safety seat's manufacturer. This also applies to any child younger than 2 years who has outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit of their seat.
FORWARD-FACING OR BOOSTER SEAT
Children whose weight or height exceeds the limit for a forward-facing safety seat should switch to a belt-positioning booster seat. These children should remain in a booster seat until the vehicle seat belt fits properly, typically when they reach 4 feet 9 inches in height and are between 8 and 12 years of age.
When children are old enough and large enough to use the vehicle seat belt alone, they should always use lap and shoulder seat belts for optimal protection.
All children younger than 13 should wear seat belts and ride in rear seats for optimal protection.
Download a PDF guide on choosing and using the best safety seat for your child.