|2018 Child Passenger Safety National Best Practice Recommendations|
|Phase 1||Rear-Facing Seats||Rear-facing infant or rear-facing convertible safety seat as long as possible, up to the rear-facing height or weight limit of the seat. Properly install according to instructions in owner's manual, rear-facing in the back seat.|
|Phase 2||Forward-facing Seats||When children outgrow the rear-facing safety seat (minimum 2+ years), they should ride in a forward-facing safety seat as long as possible, up to the upper height or weight limit of the harnesses. Usually 4+ years old. Properly installed forward-facing in the back seat. NEVER turn forward-facing before child meets all: AGE/HEIGHT/WEIGHT requirements set by safety seat manufacturer for forward-facing.|
|Phase 3||Booster Seats||After age 4 and 40+ pounds and behavior maturity*, children can ride in a booster seat with the adult lap and shoulder belt until the adult safety belt will fit them properly (usually when the child is 10 – 12 years old).
MUST have a lap/shoulder belt to use a booster seat.
*Behavior maturity required according to booster seat owner's manual
|Phase 4||Adult Safety Belt||Once children outgrow their booster seat (usually at 10 – 12 years old) they can use the adult lap/shoulder safety belt if it fits them properly according to the vehicle manufacturer's instructions. Lap portion low over the hips/tops of thighs and shoulder belt crosses the center of the shoulder and center of the chest.|
Children are better protected the longer they can stay in each phase. Keep children in each seat up to the maximum age/weight/height limits before moving to the next phase. ALL children younger than age 13 years should ride properly restrained in the back seat.
For more information or questions, contact one of the Texas Department of Public Safety certified Child Passenger Safety Seat Technician Instructors (CPSTI) below: