AUSTIN, Texas — On Thursday, the Texas House approved Senate amendments to House Bill 448 (HB 448), which will require that Texas children be restrained in a rear-facing car seat until age two unless the child weighs more than 40 pounds, is taller than 40 inches or has a medical exemption.

HB 448 updates Texas law to align it with American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations. It mirrors similar laws passed in 14 other states, including Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Carolina and Pennsylvania.

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HB 448 was authored by Representative Chris Turner (HD 101 - Grand Prairie) and sponsored by Senator Judith Zaffirini (SD 21 - Laredo). It was joint-authored by Representatives Shawn Thierry; John Zerwas, MD; Diego Bernal; and J.D. Sheffield, DO.

“Keeping children rear-facing until at least two will help ensure that they are more protected in the event of a crash,” Rep. Turner said. "This critical change will also help clarify Texas' confusing car seat law and put it in line with best practices and Texas Department of Public Safety, Department of Transportation and Department of State Health Services recommendations."

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"Rear-facing car seats have been proven to keep children safer and this critical bill will go a long way in educating the public about keeping their children protected on Texas roads," said Ben Raimer, MD, the president of the Texas Pediatric Society. "The Texas Pediatric Society is thrilled that HB 448 has finally passed both chambers of the Texas Legislature. We commend Representative Turner and Senator Zaffirini for their dedicated advocacy on this important public health measure."

This bill was endorsed by many organizations, including the Texas Hospital Association, Texas Nurses Association, Texas EMS Alliance,  Texas Medical Association and Texas Public Health Association.

HB 448 is now headed to Governor Greg Abbot's desk to be signed.

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