Mason County News
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Family Times
Booster Seat Law Clarified
Wednesday, August 8, 2012 • Posted August 8, 2012

Did you know that kids should be in a booster seat until they are 4’9” and/or 8 years old? There has been some confusion about a state law that requires all children younger than eight (8) years old, UNLESS taller than 4’9” to be in child passenger safety seat system. (“Child passenger safety seat system” includes traditional car seats with harnesses AND booster seats – both high-back and backless versions.)

The law also requires all safety seats and booster seats to be installed according to the instructions of the manufacturer of the safety seat system. Because of the changes of the wording in the law (SB61), the following legal interpretation should be applied:

Once a child reaches eight (8) years old, they are not legally required to be in a child safety seat system.

If the child is younger than eight years old, BUT they are already 4’9” tall, they are not legally required to be in a child safety seat system.

If a child is eight years old or older, and not yet 4’9” tall, they are not legally required to be in a child safety seat system.

The law also requires that safety and booster seats be installed and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions, including age, height and weight requirements and the placement in the vehicle. (Some manufacturers prohibit using their products on the front seats of vehicles.)

So if you have been unwittingly breaking the law and you need a booster seat, which will help your child fit the seat belt correctly, come see us on Monday, August 13 for a FREE car/booster seat check up event! Sponsored by Texans in Motion (educational division of Scott and White Hospitals) and Texas AgriLife Extension, we will be at the Mason First United Methodist Church overflow parking lot from 8:30-11am. We will check your current seat, GIVE you a new one if you need it (or if you don’t have one) AND teach you how to use it properly! Spanish translators available! Please share this information with anyone who could benefit from it.

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