Securing your children properly in age- and size-appropriate child safety seats — in the back seat of your vehicle — is the most effective thing you can do to protect them in the event of a crash. In fact, in motor vehicle crashes, child safety seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers.

That’s why Texas A&M AgriLife Extension agent, Fallon Foster, Georgette Pillitere, Traffic Safety Specialist, TxDOT and Trooper Stephanie Davis, DPS are urging all parents and caregivers to attend the child safety seat checkup event on March 5. Certified technicians will be available to provide on-site child safety seat inspections and education from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm at the Orange Fire Department, 501 N. 7th Street, Orange.

Children are at greater risk than adults in a vehicle crash. In fact, motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for children. Crash data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration shows that, on average in 2012, nearly two children under the age of 13 were killed and 332 were injured every day while riding in cars, SUVs, pickups, and vans. Unfortunately in 2012, over one third (37%) of children killed in car crashes were not in car seats, booster seats, or seat belts.

Even though the majority of parents buckle up their children in child safety seats, booster seats, or seat belts, most do not use them correctly. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 3 out of 4 child safety seats are not used properly, which is a grave risk when traveling.

For a child safety seat to do its job right, it has to be:

  • Appropriate for your child’s age and size;
  • Installed properly in your vehicle; and
  • Adjusted to fit your child securely.

If you’re a parent or caregiver, don’t miss this opportunity to have a free child safety seat inspection by a certified child passenger safety technician. Technicians can provide hands-on advice and instruction. Make sure your children are safe and you are in compliance with the current child safety seat law in Texas. The law requires all children under 8, unless taller than 4’9”, to be in a child safety seat system which includes traditional child safety seats with harnesses and booster seats. Best practice is to have your child in the appropriate seat for their age, weight and height as well as developmental level.  Children should not be moved out of boosters until they fit the lap/shoulder belt system in the vehicle. This is usually sometime between the ages of 8 to 12.

Remember: All child passengers under age 13 should ride securely restrained in the back seat, where they are safest — every trip, every time. To locate a certified child passenger safety technician in Texas visit .