Is Your Child Protected? Child Seat Safety Laws

In most states, including Texas, failing to take proper safety measures is considered an offense for which one can be fined.

Texas Child Safety Laws

To promote and ensure the safety of children, legislation has been set in place to enforce the use of a safety restraint system for children. The Texas Car Seat Law, for instance, requires that restraint systems must be properly installed and made use of according to the manufacturer’s instruction for all children who are less than eight years old or shorter than 57 inches. These restraint systems are often referred to as car seats or booster seats. Furthermore, it is also mandatory for children above 8 years old or 57 inches to wear seat belts whenever they are traveling by car.

Important Safety guidelines

The following important guidelines should always be followed when you take children along with you in your car;

  • Children younger than the age of 2 must always be in a rear-facing child car seat on, preferably mounted in the back seat.
  • Children between ages 2 to 4 may sit on a front facing car seat, mounted on the back seat.
  • Children between the ages 4 to 8 must sit on a booster seat. Booster seats can also help you lessen the chance of your child or children sustaining an injury in a traffic accident by up to 45%.
  • Children older than 8 must always be restrained using a lap and shoulder seatbelt.

Proper use of safety systems

Although there is no lack of legislation with regards to this matter, the general public is still in the dark about many of these issues. This may well be one of the contributing factors to the rampant improper use of restraint systems across the United States. According to the Texas government, 4 out of 5 car seats are installed improperly, all of which can potentially lead to fatal injuries in the event of a car accident. This can be prevented by knowing how to properly install the safety seat. According to a Swedish study of 3670 children who were between the ages of 0 and 15, the risk of death would be significantly reduced by 69% in infants and 47% in toddlers if they are properly restrained.

On their website, the DMV offers some very useful tips on how to install the child safety seat in your car.

These tips include:

  • Always placing the safety seat on the back seat of your car.
  • Tightening the seatbelt straps and making sure there are no twists in it.
  • Setting the base of the car seat at the correct recline angle.
  • And most importantly, carefully reading and following all the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Once you have installed the car seat, have it checked by a Child Passenger Safety Technician to ensure that it is done properly. These experts can provide helpful guidance to guarantee that the car seat installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and is safe for your child.

Tips for Buying Car Seats

We always want the best for our kids, and often do the best we can in a bid to keep them safe. That is why, when it comes to buying car seats for children, we should always keep safety as a top priority.

Here are some tips to help you to choose the best car seat best suited for the needs of you and your kid;

  • When choosing between a rear-facing infant seat and a convertible seat, you should start off with a rear-facing seat, flipping it to face the front as your child grows bigger. An infant seat provides you with more portability, allowing you to move the entire seat in and out of your car with ease. This might come in handy when your child falls asleep in the car.
  • Always look for the JPMA stamp on the box so you know that it has been tested and approved for the latest safety standards.
  • Look for models with a 5-point harness system, LATCH compatibility, and side-impact protection.
  • Check to see if the seat is under warranty and for how long that warranty will last. Also, check to see if there are no missing parts or any cracks in the car seat.

What you should do in the Case of a Seat Recall

Just as with any product that is mass-produced, the manufacturer of your car seat may choose to issue a recall in the event that a defect or a safety risk is detected in the car seat you have purchased.

Once you receive a notification about a product recall, don’t hesitate to act as indicated by the manufacturer. One way to ensure that you are notified when a recall is issued would be by registering your purchase with the manufacturer immediately after you buy it. This can easily be done on their website. Another way to be informed about recalls would be by signing up for websites such as Safe Kids Worldwide, which has a newsletter about all recalls of products for children.

Our children are our most precious gifts, and it is our legal and moral duty to take all measures to keep them safe at all time. In traffic, that means driving safe and having them properly restrained in your vehicle. With such an issue, it is definitely better to address the issue at its root. After all, prevention is better than cure and you definitely wouldn’t want to start addressing the issue only after becoming a victim of such an accident.

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