CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Texas Department of Public Safety is teaching local parents about the importance of properly installing child safety seats in a car.
It's all part of Child Passenger Safety Week, which runs from September 19-25.
DPS says car crashes are a leading cause of death of children.
Local state troopers say you need to make sure the car seat fits properly in your car before buying it and always check the maximum height and weight so you know when to transition your child to a new seat.
"The biggest thing we teach people when they come through the inspections is to get the seat as securely inside the car as can be", said DPS Sgt. Nathan Brandley.
DPS offers the following tips to ensure children are properly restrained in a vehicle:
- When selecting a car seat for your child, ensure it fits in your vehicle properly before purchasing it.
- Do not purchase a car seat if you are not aware of the history (i.e. yard sales, social media platforms, etc.).
- Model good behavior, make sure you are wearing your seat belt so your children will know it’s the right thing to do.
- Infant car seats should always be rear-facing, and never used forward-facing.
- Be sure to check the maximum height and weight limits of the car seat, so children may be properly transitioned to the next one.
- For older children who are using booster seats with lap belts, ensure the belt is across the pelvic area and the shoulder belt strap is placed across the shoulder. It should never be placed along a child’s neck or abdominal area. It should never be used under the arm or behind the back as it could cause severe injury in a crash.
- Texas law states all children younger than 8 years old, unless taller than 4’9”, are required to be in the appropriate car seat whenever they ride in a passenger vehicle. The car seat MUST be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Children 8 years and older must be in a seat belt, if an adult hasn’t properly restrained a child, they can receive a $250 ticket.
If you need help installing a child car seat you can always stop by a DPS office. You can find additional information on the DPS website [dps.texas.gov].