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Are safety belts made with children in mind?

You've probably heard many times that you should make sure your children are buckled up when they get in the car. This is very good advice and should always be followed. However, it's important to note that safety belts are not designed with kids in mind. Rather, they have been made for use by full-grown adults.

What this means is that you need extra devices to make it so that the belts actually work. If your child is under two years old, it is recommended that you use a car seat. This can be belted into the seat itself, and then the child can be belted into the car seat. For kids this young, rear-facing seats should be used.

When kids get to be over two years old, they no longer have to face the back of the car, but a full car seat should still be used. It's very important to make sure this is installed properly and that the strap over the child's chest is not loose at all.

There are maximum limits for both height and weight on these seats, though, so you need another step when the child outgrows it. It's time to turn to a booster seat. In essence, the booster just lifts the child up; it generally does not have straps of its own. The booster's job is to make the child as tall as your average seated adult so that the belts that are made for adults will work properly.

Even with the right safety equipment, children can still be hurt in car accidents in Waco, Texas, so parents must know if they have a right to compensation.

Source: Texas Department of Transportation, "Safety Belts and Safety Seats," accessed Nov. 20, 2015

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