Inside: Where to find a free child safety seat check in Texas. Sponsored by The Texas Department of Transportation.
Just the other day my husband and I were driving a few blocks away from our house when we noticed that the car ahead of us had an unbuckled child standing up in the front seat. He couldn’t have been more than three or four years old.
It was shocking to see, but surprisingly it’s not as uncommon as you’d think. More than 12.5 percent of children observed as part of a 2017 study conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute were riding totally unrestrained in a vehicle.
While that’s a definitely a scary statistic, what is even more worrisome is that many parents who think their child is safely buckled into a safety seat could be doing it wrong. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 2 out of 3 child safety seats are misused.
That means that 2 out of 3 children are at risk for unnecessary injury in the event of a crash because their seat is not installed correctly or they are not buckled into their seat properly.
As parents, we’re all just trying our best. However, if a child safety seat isn’t being used correctly, it truly could be a matter of life and death.
September 23–29 is National Child Passenger Safety Week and I’m partnering with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to share important safety seat information, as well as help you find where to get a free safety seat check.
Related: Why I Support AMBER Alerts
Why You Should Schedule a Safety Seat Check-Up with TxDOT:
- It’s free!
- It only takes about 20-30 minutes and check-ups are available year-round.
- A safety specialist will walk you step-by-step through proper seat installation and usage so you’ll know exactly what to do on your own.
- It could save your child’s life in a crash!
Plus, Texas law requires all children younger than 8 years old (unless taller than 4 feet 9 inches) to be in an appropriate child restraint system. Breaking the law not only is dangerous for your child, but also can result in a fine of up to $250.
What to Expect at a Child Safety Seat Check
A safety seat check-up is a hands-on experience where you’ll not only see how to properly install and use your child safety seats, but learn how to do it, too. A safety specialist can help show you:
- how to best secure your child safety seat(s) in your specific vehicle
- the ideal type of safety seats for your child’s age and size
- life-saving car safety tips both in and around your vehicle
What to Bring
Every child safety seat (including booster seats) you plan to use, along with the vehicle you drive
Each child (when possible) to make sure they are using the correct size/style seat, as well as how to properly buckle them
Where to Get a Free Child Safety Seat Check in Texas
The Texas Department of Transportation offers free safety seat check-ups at each of its 25 district offices across the state.
TIP: If you reach a voicemail, leave a message with your name and contact information. Be sure to include in your message that you’d like to schedule a child safety seat check.