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Car seat safety: the do’s and don’ts in Texas

With the number of car accidents high in West Texas, learning more about child car safety can help parents be prepared if something bad happens while on the road.

TEXAS, USA — Although children aren’t behind the wheel when in a motor car, countless children have died because of not being properly restrained in a moving vehicle. 

The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2018, 636 children 12-years-old and younger died in motor vehicle traffic crashes and more than 97,000 were injured. Of the children 12-years-old and younger who died in a crash in 2018 (for which restraint use was known), 33% were not buckled up.

Texas has strict laws when it comes to putting your children in a vehicle safely. Safe Kids San Angelo Coordinator Jamie Harden explains a few that some may not be aware of. 

“The Texas state law requires children under the age of eight to be properly secured in a child passenger safety seat unless they are 4 feet 9 inches tall,” Harden mentioned. 

In addition to that, the Texas Department of Transportation says to ensure the shoulder belt goes over the shoulder and across the center of the chest. Also to never tuck the shoulder belt underneath your arm or behind your back.

Harden took the time to explain when the best time is to turn the car seat from the rear in regards to the infant in the back seat. 

"We want children rear facing for as long as possible. This is the safest position for them in the vehicle. When do you know to switch them to forward facing? Everything you need to know is on the side of your car seat. On the left or right side of the child’s car seat, there is information about when to transition your child from the car seat, to the booster, to the actual car seat,” Harden explained. 

As a mother, Harden said she is always cautious about her children when driving and hopes for the best when going to and from a destination. Like her and millions of other parents, the number one goal is to keep their child(ren) safe.