All About Car Seats

Texas Child Passenger Safety Law

  • Texas law requires that children be secured in a child safety seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old unless they are 4 foot 9 inches tall.

Children 0-2 Years

  • Children should remain rear-facing at least until 2 years old or as long as possible. It is safest for children to remain rear-facing until they reach the maximum rear-facing height or weight limit of the seat.

Children 2-4 Years

  • When children outgrow a rear-facing car seat around 2 years old, they should ride in a forward-facing car seat with a 5-point harness system. It is safer for children to remain in a forward-facing car seat until they reach the upper height or weight limit of the harnesses – usually around 50lbs.

Children 4 Years +

  • After children reach age 4 and at least 40 lbs, a booster seat must always be used with a lap and shoulder belt. A booster seat helps the seat belt to fit your child properly across their shoulder and low on their hips. It is usually safest to keep your child in a booster seat until they are 4 foot 9 inches tall, regardless of age as long as they are still within the height and weight limitations of the booster seat.
  • For children over 8 years old, the Seat Belt Fit Test can help you determine if your child is ready to use a seat belt without a booster seat.
  • All children under age 13 should ride properly restrained in the back seat of a vehicle away from airbags.

General Car Seat Tips

  • It’s important to know the history of your car seat. It is not recommended to use a secondhand car seat or a car seat that has been involved in a crash. If you are unsure of your car seat’s history, it should be replaced.
  • Car seats expire after 6 years. Check the stickers on the frame of your car seat for the manufacture date.
  • Read your car seat user manual to learn about the specific features of your car seat and how to install it correctly.
  • Remember, the best car seat is the one that is the right size for your child, fits appropriately in your vehicle, and one that you are able to install correctly every time!

American Academy of Pediatrics Car Seat Check App


Texas Department of Public Safety