A Boerne car crash led to the death of a child who police say was not properly restrained. Here’s how to make sure your child is safe in their seat.

After her 4-year-old daughter died in a car crash in Boerne on Monday, Alabama mother Kianna Adams was arrested on manslaughter charges on Thursday.

Boerne police said Kianna Adams, 27, lost control of her SUV and an over correction caused the vehicle to roll multiple times. Star Adams, 4, was ejected and died at the scene. Two other children also were ejected from the vehicle; they, along with Kianna Adams, were taken to a San Antonio hospital.

The police investigation showed that the three children were not restrained in their car seats, and the seats were not properly secured in the SUV, Boerne police spokesman Chris Shadrock said.

About 46 percent of all children are not buckled up correctly, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. The department says motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among children.

More than 600 children 12 and younger died in traffic crashes while riding in passenger vehicles in 2019, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA says using car seats in a passenger vehicle can reduce an infant’s risk of fatal injury by 71 percent.

At NHTSA.gov/TheRightSeat, people can type in their child’s date of birth, height and weight to help determine the right car seat for their kid. The site also emphasizes the importance of reading the car seat manufacturer’s instructions to ensure kids are in seats made for their height and weight.

Generally, the NHTSA says children will be in a rear-facing car seat from birth until as late as 3 years old, in a forward-facing car seat from as early as 1 year old to as late as 7 years old and in a booster from as early as 4 years old to as late as 12 years old.

They won’t be ready to graduate to the vehicle’s ,seat belt until they’re 8 years old and maybe not even until they’re 12, according to agency guidelines.

Miguel Delgado gets instruction from Lily Ma about how to properly install a child safety seat at University Hospital in this 2008 photo.

Miguel Delgado gets instruction from Lily Ma about how to properly install a child safety seat at University Hospital in this 2008 photo.

Staff file photo

Once kids are big enough for seat belts, the NHTSA says the lap belt should be across the upper thighs — not the stomach — and the shoulder belt should be going across the shoulder and chest — not the neck or face.

In addition, kids should remain in the back seat at least until they’re 12 since it’s safer, the agency says.

But even with the best car seats, the NHTSA says kids could be in danger if the seat is installed incorrectly. The administration says people should read the car seat instruction manual and the vehicle’s owner manual for information on car seat installation.

It points out that proper installation means using either lower anchors or the seat belt to secure the car seat and ensuring that they’re tightly secured, allowing for little side-to-side or front-to-back movement.

The Texas Department of Transportation’s SaveMeWithASeat.org also walks people through the stages of car seat use. Parents can use the site to enter their ZIP code to find a local professional to conduct a car seat check.

Parents also can visit NHTSA.gov/TheRightSeat for tips and to find a place near them that offers car seat inspections.


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