Faith Offers Monthly Safe Rider’s Classes in Jacksboro and Bowie

Did you know that car seats have an expiration date? It’s true!

Not unlike a date on a milk carton, car seats are affixed with a label that includes a “do not use after” date. Of course, while milk can go bad after a week or so, car seats are designed to be safe for up to six years from the manufacture date. After that date, car seats and booster seats must be replaced with an updated model.

Here’s another thing you may not know: hundreds of children under age five are saved every year in the United States – thanks to car seats! While car accidents remain the leading cause of death for children under to age 13, car seats provide significant protection for children in the event of a crash.

In the state of Texas, children must ride in the backseat of a car – in a car seat or booster seat – until they have reached the age of eight. Once they celebrate their eighth birthday, children are legally permitted to sit in the front seat using an adult seatbelt. (Sooner if they reach the height of 4’9”.) However, riding in the backseat of a car is safer for children so parents of smaller children may want to delay a move to the front seat for safety’s sake.

Car seats (and boosters) only work if you choose the correct model and make sure they are installed properly. Also, all of the vehicles your child rides in must be equipped with a safe car seat, reminded Brandi Bennett, BSN, RN, Quality Assurance/ Infection Prevention, program manager of Employee Health Maternal/Neonatal Medicine at Faith Community Health System.

“We learn fairly often that parents don’t necessarily think about making sure car seats are installed safely in grandparents’ cars, for example,” Bennett said. “People just switch the seats between cars but there is no quality control. The child isn’t safe if the car seat isn’t installed in the car properly.”

Faith Holds ‘Safe Riders’ Program Twice a Month

Need a Car Seat? Need a Car Seat Safety Check?

Residents of the area can obtain a car seat through the Safe Riders program. You can also make sure the car seats in your cars – or the cars of anyone transporting your children – are safely installed.

  • At Faith Community Hospital (215 Chisholm Trail, Jacksboro), the Safe Riders program is held on the second Monday of each month from 4 to 7 p.m. 

  • At the FCHS ER Bowie (705 East Greenwood Ave., Bowie), you can attend the Safe Riders class on the fourth Monday of the month, also from 4 to 7 p.m.

NOTE: You must register to attend these classes as they are not held if there is no one signed up. Call Bennett at 940-567-6633, ext 226 to reserve your spot!

Faith Community Health System also holds car seat inspections at health fairs during the year.

When it comes to car seat safety, remember…

“Children grow taller and gain weight,” Bennett said. “As they get older, the car seat has to ‘grow’ with them. Additionally, as your child ages, they will move from a rear-facing seat to a front-facing seat and eventually to a booster seat. But it’s important to know that size and weight are the measurements to watch.”

If you think your child might be ready to graduate to a new car seat, or you notice the current car seat you have is about to expire, you may be eligible to receive a free car seat in the correct size for your child. Find out by calling 940-567-6633, ext 226.