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The best seat is the one that fits the child well, fits inside the vehicle, is installed correctly, and is used every trip, every time.
You are not in this alone. Texas Health Resources is committed to keeping our children and communities safe through proper child automobile safety restraints. Helping parents and guardians understand the importance of using the appropriate child automobile restraints contributes to the reduction of child injury and fatalities during automobile collisions.
Choosing the right child safety seat for your child can be challenging, but Texas Health Resources offers car seat fitting stations to help. We offer educational opportunities through child seat safety checks held at several Texas Health Resources hospitals across the greater DFW area. The child seat checks are 30 minute appointments consisting of education, child seat inspection for proper installation, and assistance and guidance with proper installation of the car seats into the vehicle.
Choosing the Right One
Having the correct car seat for the child's age is the first step. The next step in ensuring that the child safety seat is properly installed. A properly installed child safety seat won't move more than 1 inch when pulled forward or side-to-side.
- When identifying proper passenger restraints, remember:
- Birth to 12 months: Children under age 1 should ALWAYS ride in a rear-facing car seat.
- 1 to 3 years: Children should stay rear-facing as long as possible. Children should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by the car seat's manufacture. Once the child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, children are ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
- 4 to 7 years: Children should stay in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by the car seat's manufacturer. Once children outgrow the forward-facing car seat with harness, it's time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.
- 8 to 12 years: Child should stay in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember: Children should still ride in the back seat because it's safer there.
- When buying an infant child safety seat consider:
- Weight and height limits
- Five-point harness
- Harness adjustment
- Anti-rebound features
- Stay-in car bases
- No accessories
- Avoiding convertible child safety seats for infants until the child has reached 7 pounds
Ask questions and require anyone who transports your child to use the proper child safety seats. This includes day care centers, baby sitters, the nanny, and other family members.
Call 1-877-THR-WELL (1-877-847-9355) or visit our Classes and Events Calendar to find the nearest station and to schedule an appointment.