There are two vital rules for keeping your baby safe in the car:

  1. Never leave your baby alone in a car for any reason for any length of time.
  2. Always secure your baby in a child safety seat (car seat) that is the right type and size for your baby’s age, weight and vehicle.
Car Seat Safety

Road injuries are the leading cause of preventable deaths and injuries to children in the U.S. Car seats are an important part of keeping your baby safe. If used correctly, child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71%. Car seats are also required by law. Texas law states, “All children younger than 8 years old (unless taller than 4’9”) must be in an appropriate child safety seat system whenever they ride in a passenger vehicle.” This means that your car seat must be the right size and type for your baby and your vehicle. The type of car seat babies and children need will change as they grow. You must also make sure that your car seat is installed correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Nearly half of car seats are not used or installed correctly. 

Infants and toddlers under 2 years of age should be placed in a rear-facing car seat appropriate for their height and weight. The straps holding your baby in the seat need to be snug but not too tight. You should be able to get two fingers between the straps and your infant without difficulty. If you cannot afford a car seat or to learn more about car seat safety and installation, visit Safe Riders at dshs.texas.gov/the-office-injury-prevention/safe-riders or call 800-252-8255. Safe Riders can also schedule an appointment to have your car/booster seat checked by a certified technician.