As a parent, it is your job to protect your child when riding in a vehicle. Using car seats properly helps keep children safe. But with so many different types of car seats on the market, understanding how to use them correctly can be overwhelming for parents.
Texas law requires booster seats for children who have outgrown car seats, but are under 8 years of age, unless they have reached 4 foot 9 inches in height. Most children between ages 4 and 8 years of age will need a booster seat to be safe and comply with the law, however, even children older than 8 years of age can be safer in a booster seat until they reach 4’9″.
There are 2 types of booster seats: “high-back” and “backless”. Both booster seats serve the same purpose: adding artificial height to the child so that the adult seat belt fits properly across the strongest part of the child’s body. Backless booster seats can be used when the vehicle seat has an adjustable headrest. A high-back booster seat should be used when the vehicle seat does not have an adjustable headrest.
Visit the AAP’s Car Seat Safety Information page for guidance on choosing the most appropriate car safety seat for your child.
AAP recommends that children face backward until 2 years of age. After that, a forward facing car seat or booster seat with a 5 point harness is recommended until you cannot buckle or strap below shoulder or 65 pounds.