Car Seat Safety
Keeping your child safe while on the go is important. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 5 to 14 years old. Child safety seats, when used correctly, can reduce serious injury by up to 71 percent. Follow these safety tips to keep your child safe when in the car.
Top Safety Tips
- Make sure your child is buckled into an appropriate car seat or booster seat on every ride. In Texas, children are required by law to use a car seat or booster seat until age 8, unless they are 4 feet 9 inches tall.
- Children should ride in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible, at least until age 2.
- When children outgrow their rear-facing car seat, they should use a forward-facing car seat with a harness for as long as possible.
- Older children should ride in a booster seat with the lap and shoulder belt until a seat belt fits them properly. Use the Seat Belt Fit Test to see if your child can transition out of a booster seat.
- Children under age 13 should always ride in the rear seat of the vehicle.
- Have a certified technician check your car seat to make sure it is installed correctly. Safe Kids Austin offers free car seat checks each month. Find a car seat check here or call (512) 324-TOTS (8687) to schedule an appointment.
- Check the labels to make sure your car sear is not expired. Car seats generally expire after six years.
- If you are planning to buy a used car seat, make sure you know the full history of the seat. If a car seat has been in a crash or is expired, it should be replaced.
- Prevent heatstroke by never leaving your child alone in the car, not even for a minute. Create reminders to make sure baby is not forgotten in the back seat and, if you see a child alone in a vehicle, call 911.
- Safe Kids Worldwide – Car Seat Safety
- Safe Kids Worldwide – Car Seat Tips
- Texas Department of Public Safety – Child Passenger Safety Information
- NHTSA’s Car Seat Recall List
- Austin Area Car Seat Check Calendar
- Austin-Travis County EMS – Child car seat inspections and education programs
- Kids in Cars – Car seat inspections and booster seat distribution programs
- Safe Riders – Child passenger safety information and car seat inspection and distribution programs
- Simply Safety Store – Low-cost child car seats and booster seats