PARIS – As part of its continuing commitment to safety, the Texas Department of Transportation reminds caregivers and parents of all ages to check, double-check and triple-check their child passenger safety seats. National Child Passenger Safety Week, Sept. 17-24, is an ideal time to do so.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3 out of 4 child car seats are not properly installed. Common child safety seat errors include: installing the seat too loosely; putting the harness straps through the wrong slots; leaving harness straps too loose; positioning the chest clip incorrectly; and using the wrong seat belt path.
“We can help you check the fitment and safety of your child passenger seat at five locations in the nine-county TxDOT Paris District,” said Monica Yates, TxDOT traffic funding specialist based in Paris. “It helps to know your child’s weight and height, so have that information with you.”
“Also remember that used car seats, ones you get at a garage sale or from family members, may not be safe,” Yates said. “Child safety seats have an expiration date and shouldn’t be used after that date. They should also be replaced if and when the vehicle is involved in a crash.”
State law requires that children less than 8 years old and shorter than 4’9” travel in passenger vehicles in approved child safety seats. Those older than 8 and taller than 4’9” can travel using adult safety belts.
Drivers should refer to their specific car seat manufacturer’s manual for instructions on how to install a safety seat. The vehicle owner’s manual also includes information on the proper placement of car seats and proper use of the seat belt or LATCH system.