Car Seats and Children

by djgorena

Boys at Target

Here’s an important message from the Texas Department of Public Safety. We wanted to make sure that we were following the Texas law concerning transporting our little ones. As you can see, this particular ride is safe as we are simply waiting for our Starbucks frappes at Target!

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued new recommendations in their April 2011 publication, Pediatrics, addressing best practice when transporting children. This is not a change in Texas statute, however, parents and caregivers are encouraged to follow the new AAP Guidelines (PDF) when transporting children.

Hyperthermia (heat stroke/heat related) deaths: Last year there were 49 children in the US killed by hyperthermia (heat-stroke). Unfortunately, Texas led the nation with 13 of those deaths. never leave your child alone in a car, a Safe Kids Worldwide program, is dedicated to educating the public about this issue. For information on how you can prevent child hyperthermia deaths from occurring, visit Safe Kids.

The following presentations are designed to help answer questions that law enforcement officers and the general public may have concerning the changes to the child safety seat and occupant safety laws: 545.412 and 545.413:

Phase 1: Rear-Facing Seats – Infants: Birth – 35 pounds. Rear-facing infant or rear-facing convertible safety seat as long as possible, up to the rear-facing height or weight limit of the seat. Properly install rear-facing int he back seat.

Phase 2: Forward-Facing Seats – When children outgrow the rear-facing seat, they should ride in a forward-facing safety seat as long as possible, up to the upper height or weight limit (40-80 pounds) of the harnesses. Usually 4+ years old. Properly installed forward-facing int he back seat. NEVER turn forward-facing before 1-year-old AND 20-22 pounds.

Phase 3: Booster Seats – After age 4 and 40+ pounds, children can ride in a booster seat with the adult lap and shoulder belt until the adult safety belt will fit them properly (usually when the child is 4’9″ tall) MUST have a lap/shoulder belt to use a booster seat.

Phase 4: Adult Safety Belt – Once children outgrow their booster seat (usually 4’9″, 100 pounds) they can use the adult safety belt if it fits them properly. Lap portion low over the hips/tops of thighs and shoulder belt crosses the center of the shoulder and center of the chest.

Children are better protected the longer they can stay in each phase. Keep children in each seat up to the maximum age/weight/height limits before moving to the next phase.

For more information, contact Beth Warren, Occupant Safety Programs Coordinator at occupantsafety@dps.texas.gov or 512/424-5639.

(You can read this article here.)

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