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Is your child buckled up correctly?

During Child Passenger Safety Week, experts are urging parents to make sure they are buckling up their children correctly.

That’s because statistics show that the chances are you’re not.

The Texas Department of Transportation finds that car crashes are still a leading cause of death among children.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in Texas last year, 73 children under the age of 8 were killed in traffic crashes and 408 were seriously injured; 30 kids ages 8 to 12 were killed and 411 were seriously injured.

The most common mistakes are failing to buy the correct seat for your child’s age and size, and installing it wrong.

TxDOT is holding two car seat events:

– Wednesday, Sept. 26, Las Palmas Life Care Center, 3333 N. Mesa Street, 8-10 a.m.

– Saturday, Sept. 29, Fire Station #5, 400 Revere Street, 8-10 a.m.

What kind of car seats should your child use?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention makes the following recommendations:

Rear-facing car seat: Birth until age 2-4.

For the best possible protection, infants and toddlers should be buckled in a rear-facing car seat, in the back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limits of their seat. Check the seat’s owner’s manual and/or labels on the seat for weight and height limits.

Forward-facing car seat: After outgrowing rear-facing seat until at least age 5.

When children outgrow their rear-facing seats, they should be buckled in a forward-facing car seat, in the back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of their seat. Check the seat’s owner’s manual and/or labels on the seat for weight and height limits.

Booster seat: After outgrowing forward-facing seat and until seat belts fit properly.

Once children outgrow their forward-facing seat, they should be buckled in a belt-positioning booster seat until seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt lays across the chest (not the neck). Proper seat belt fit usually occurs when children are about 4 feet 9 inches tall and age 9-12 years.

Seat Belt: Once seat belts fit properly without a booster seat.

Children no longer need to use a booster seat once seat belts fit them properly. (see above description)For the best possible protection, keep children properly buckled in the back seat.

State law requires all children under 8 years old, unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches, to be in a safety seat whenever they ride in a vehicle. Failure to properly restrain a child can result in a ticket of up to $250.

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