Car Seat Safety, Texas Law
The New American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines
No one can argue with the fact that seat belts, and in the case of children, car safety seats save lives. There seems to be some confusion what the current state law is here in Texas is, and recently the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a new guideline for the use of car seats.
So let’s just cut to the facts. Texas law states that ALL people riding in a vehicle (front seat or back seat) that holds less than 15 passengers, that is not for hire (a taxi, etc.) and that is equipped with seat belts must wear a seat belt or be placed in a safety seat device. A CHILD must be in an approved car seat restraining device if under 8 years of age unless the child is taller than 4 feet 9 inches (57 inches). So if you have a 7 year old that is taller than 57 inches, he can be in a regular seat belt with a shoulder harness (and the shoulder harness must not fall across the neck.) Pretty simple and straight forward. For more information on this the best source is the web site http://www.texasclickitorticket.com.
As far as the AAP guidelines, the new recommendation is that children be kept in a rear facing car safety seat until age 2 or until reaching the highest weight and height allowed by the manufacturer. The previous recommendation was that they be rear facing until one year of age and 20 pounds. It has become clear that rear facing children age 12-24 months who were in crashes were less likely to be seriously injured than forward facing children. This finding was published in the journal Injury Prevention (2007;13:398-402.)
Hope this is helpful. Please feel free to discuss this with me at any time.
Copyright 2012, Albert G. Karam