Legal Requirements for Child Passenger Safety Seat Systems
TRC 545.412. Child Passenger Safety Seat Systems; Offense states, a person commits an offense if the person operates a passenger vehicle, transports a child who is younger than 8 years of age, unless the child is taller than 4 feet, 9 inches and does not keep the child secured during the operation of the vehicle in a child passenger safety seat system according to the instructions of the manufacturer of the safety seat system.
American Academy (AAP) of Pediatrics Recommendation
In a policy statement published in the April 2011 issue of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics now advises parents to keep toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they exceed the height or weight limit for the car seat, which can be found on the back of the seat.
Previously, the AAP advised parents to keep kids rear-facing as long as possible, up to the maximum limit of the car seat, and this has not changed.
Legal Requirements for Safety Belts
Section 545.413. Safety Belts; Offense states:
A person commits an offense if:
Is at least 15 years of age
Is riding in a passenger vehicle while the vehicle is being operated
Is occupying a seat that is equipped with a safety belt
Is not secured by a safety belt
As the operator of a school bus equipped with a safety belt for the operator's seat, the person is not secured by the safety belt
A person commits an offense if the person:
Operates a passenger vehicle that is equipped with safety belts
Allows a child who is younger than 17 years of age and who is not required to be secured in a child passenger safety seat system under Section 545.412(a) to ride in the vehicle without requiring the child to be secured by a safety belt, provided the child is occupying a seat that is equipped with a safety belt