TxDOT’s Nick Wade says a lot of parents think their child’s seat is in correctly, but it isn’t.
“From seats not being secure; they’re too loose, or maybe the harness straps are in the wrong slot. A lot of parents will position the chest clip incorrectly,” he said. “We even see some seats that use the wrong seatbelt path.”
Wade says TxDOT has trained specialists at all of its offices who are their to make sure your child’s carseat is installed correctly.
“TxDOT offers a free child safety seat check at out 25 statewide offices, anytime you want to make sure you’ve got the seat locked in correctly, or the seat’s the right size for your child,” he said. “You can make an appointment with your local TxDOT office and get fixed up.”
If you want to know which TxDOT office is closest to you, text the word “SEAT” and your zip code to 876526. TxDOT will text you back with an office location. If there is no TxDOT office in your area, surf to SaveMeWithaSeat.com, and you will be able to find a carseat specialist near you.
Also, during Child Passenger Safety Week, TxDOT wants to remind you of the state laws related to carseats. Wade says all children younger then 8 — unless they’re taller than 4 feet 9 inches — must be in some kind of child safety seat.
He also says Texas has no law requiring babies to be rear-facing in their carseats until they’re at least 2, even though that is the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Wade says you should keep your child in a rear-facing carseat until they reach the maximum weight and height for their seat, according to the manufacturer’s manual.
You can read Texas’ laws regarding child safety seats here. There is more info from the Texas Department of Public Safety on keeping your children safe in your car here. Also, Consumer Reports ranks your carseat options here.