Car Seats and the Law in Texas

Car Seats Help Save Lives

Car Seats Help Save Lives

In the State of Texas, car wrecks are responsible for a serious number of injuries and deaths to children. However, booster and car seats significantly lower the risk of an injury - and can potentially save the life of a child. For instance, the Center for Disease Control states:

  • Booster seats significantly lower the possibility of an infant fatality as a result of a car wreck by 71%
  • Booster seats significantly lower the possibility of a toddler fatality as a result of a car wreck by 54%
  • Car seats lower the possibility of children being severely hurt in a car accident by 45%
  • Using a vehicle’s seat belt greatly reduces the possibility of an infant or adult fatality as a result of a car wreck by 50%

Children and Toddlers Have to be Restrained in a Proper Manner in Texas

The law in Texas requires for any child who is under the height of four feet, nine inches to be properly restrained by some form of a booster or car seat. Also, the law makes it mandatory for parents to follow the manufacturer’s instructions while installing the car seats.

It is important to keep in mind that the law speaks specifically in regards to the height of a child, not how old they are.

Also, parents can be fined if they are found breaking booster or child seat laws in Texas.

Car Seat Safety Recommendation According to the Texas Department of Public Safety

For toddlers and babies who are under 35 pounds in weight, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has a recommendation for placing them in car seats that are facing the rear of the car, and are placed in the car’s back seat (not in the passenger seat). These car seats must be used as long as they possible can.

Also, for infants and children that weigh more than 35 pounds, it is acceptable for them to be placed in front-facing seats. However, they should be placed in the back seat to ensure protection in the event of an accident.

Finally, children who are over 40 pounds in weight can advance to a booster seat that is used with a standard adult lap and shoulder safety belt.

Eventually, children will grow out of their car an booster seats once they can safely and comfortably use a standard adult seat belt. The Texas Department of Public Safety’s guidelines note that this typically occurs once a child reaches the height of four feet, nine inches or weighs a minimum of 100 pounds.

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