Children outgrow a lot of things quickly, from clothing items to toys. It is fairly easy to replace clothes, but replacing safety items like a car seat requires a little more attention. With so many options and regulations, it can be a challenge to keep up with the laws regarding car seats.
It is important to know your state’s laws regarding car seat requirements. In the state of Texas, a child must be in a car or booster seat unless they are 8 years old or taller than 4 feet 9 inches (57 inches). The best car safety seat parents can use is one that fits their car, is easy to use and is appropriate for their child’s height and weight. It’s important to remember the type of safety seat needed will change as a child grows.
Infants and toddlers need to be in a rear-facing car seat until the age of 2 or until they reach the rear-facing maximum height and/or weight requirement of their convertible car seat as indicated by the car seat manufacturer.
Toddlers and preschool aged children can be in a forward-facing car seat with a five-point harness until they reach the maximum height and/or weight requirement as indicated by the car seat manufacturer.
School aged children should use a belt-positioning booster seat until they can sit properly in the seat with the lap portion of the seat belt resting on the hips and the shoulder portion coming across the shoulder/clavicle. Typically this is when they reach at least 4 feet 9 inches (57 inches) and are between 8 and 12 years of age.
Children younger than 13 should always remain in the back seat with shoulder and lap belt properly positioned.
Although there are many types of car seats on the market, car seat safety is heavily regulated, so it is important to be diligent with your research to choose the right one for your family. The majority of car seat failures are due to user error, such as improper installation. Below are some common mistakes every parent should avoid.
Have questions about car seats or need to schedule an appointment to get a car seat inspection?