Child Passenger Safety Week is Sept. 19-25, and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) wants to remind the public that having your children properly secured in a car seat is crucial in reducing their risk of injury and death in a vehicle crash.
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among children. While most people believe their children are properly buckled up, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration points out that 46% of all car seats are misused. The best way to keep young children safe in your vehicle is to make sure they’re properly buckled up. Select a car seat that’s appropriate for your children’s age and size.
DPS offers the following tips to ensure children are properly restrained in a vehicle:
- When selecting a car seat for your child, ensure it fits in your vehicle properly before purchasing it.
- Do not purchase a car seat if you are not aware of the history (i.e. yard sales, social media platforms, etc.).
- Model good behavior, make sure you are wearing your seat belt so your children will know it’s the right thing to do.
- Infant car seats should always be rear-facing, and never used forward-facing.
- Be sure to check the maximum height and weight limits of the car seat, so children may be properly transitioned to the next one.
- For older children who are using booster seats with lap belts, ensure the belt is across the pelvic area and the shoulder belt strap is placed across the shoulder. It should never be placed along a child’s neck or abdominal area. It should never be used under the arm or behind the back as it could cause severe injury in a crash.
- Texas law states all children younger than 8 years old, unless taller than 4’9”, are required to be in the appropriate car seat whenever they ride in a passenger vehicle. The car seat MUST be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Children 8 years and older must be in a seat belt, if an adult hasn’t properly restrained a child, they can receive a $250 ticket.
Request installation assistance from a National Child Passenger Safety Technician at one of our local DPS offices. You can find additional information on the DPS website.