Local officials urging parents to practice safe restraints

Local officials urging parents to practice safe restraints

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - An incident has officials speaking out about the dangers of not restraining a child and new changes parents need to be aware of.

Motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children in the United States.

But many of these deaths can be prevented with proper protection. Officials say many parents (including some here in Amarillo) could use a refresher.

"As far as yesterday's incident yes we do see this a lot. In fact 3 out of 4 children are not properly restrained in the child's car seat," says APD Officer Chrysler Laur.

Texas law states children are required to be in a car seat until the age of eight unless they are taller than 4'9.

While that rule remains, a new suggestion has been made by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Their recommendation...

"That kids stay rear facing until age two now," says TxDOT Traffic Safety Specialist Tracy Tellman. "It used to be it was age one and 20 pounds, but now it's age two and we find that rear-facing is five times safer than forward facing."

Some parents remove their children from their car seats for various reasons. APD suggests if need be, pull over. But they say never remove your or your child's restraint in a moving vehicle.

"It is a matter of life or death in that instance. You have to be the parent and that is to do the right thing and keep that child properly restrained in a proper car seat," says Laur.

And while some parents may think they have the physical power to control their child in an accident, they might want to think again.

"We know that in a crash, to determine the amount of strength needed for a child, you have to multiply their weight times the speed you are going. So let's say you have a ten pound child and you're going 30 miles an hour, it takes 300 pounds of restraint to hold that child. It's very important that they stay in that car seat, that they're ready for a crash at any point. That goes for adults as well. They need to be wearing their seat belt," says Tellman.

For more information on where you can get your car seat inspected, call (806) 356-3295