Car accidents can happen without a moment’s notice and may not be avoidable. As a result, there are certain laws in place to keep people safer while in a car. In Texas, there are certain laws relating to child car seats to ensure the safety of your child.
Generally speaking, child seat laws are determined based on the child’s age, height and weight. There are different seat laws for different age ranges and sizes. The laws apply to children as young as newborn babies up to kids eight years old and shorter than 4 feet 9 inches. If a child is over eight or taller than the height limit, they can sit in a regular seat in a car and use the lap and shoulder belts.
Rear-Facing Seat Requirements
Babies who are newborns up to the age of two must sit in a car seat that is rear-facing. The seat must be securely strapped and the seat manufacturer’s instructions closely adhered. A child must remain in this seat until they are of the maximum weight for it. The harness should be snug without pinching the skin. The chest clip must be secured under the child’s armpits as well.
Forward-Facing Seat Requirements
When a child reaches two years old, they can then use a forward-facing car seat. However, they must remain in the backseat. They can remain in the car seat until they reach the maximum height and weight. You must use either the seat belt or LATCH system to secure a child in this seat, but it’s important to note you can use both at the same time.
Booster Seat Requirements
When your child is around four, they can then be placed in a booster seat in the car. Many kids remain in this seat until age eight. You must strap them in using the lap and shoulder belts. While there are backless booster seats, a child can only use one if their head is not taller than the backseat of the vehicle.
Additional Child Safety Seat Laws
You must carefully follow all instructions from the manufacturer when using a child car seat to ensure your child’s safety. It is not recommended to install these seats in side or rear-facing seats. Seats also expire after six years from the manufacture date, which means you must buy a new one before that time.
Unfortunately, there have been car seat recalls in recent years. When a child car seat malfunctions, a child can suffer injuries even if you have not been in a car accident. It’s important to know your rights and realize that you can file a legal claim for liability if you believe there is a defect that led to your child’s injuries. A Texas car accident attorney can be integral in protecting your rights.