EDITOR’S NOTE: We asked Wess Winn, community services officer and crime prevention coordinator with the Waxahachie Police Department to write a weekly column in an effort to answer many of the law enforcement-related questions posed by our readers. Here’s this week’s column.

During the 2009 Legislative session some changes were made to the child safety seat laws. 

Since it went into effect, many parents have taken for granted that a booster seat is appropriate for most children over 2 years of age. That is one of the worst things parent can do is to place a child in the wrong type child restraint before they are ready.  Over the next month or so I am going to write about how to properly restrain your child but before we do that I need to talk about the law that went into effect in September 2009. 

The law requires any child under 4-feet, 9-inches or under 8 years of age to sit in a booster seat. 

To be exempt from the booster seat law the child has to meet only one of the elements (height or age). Children are not required to sit in the booster seat if they are 8 years of age or older, but under 4-feet, 9-inches tall. Also, they are not required to use the booster seat if they are 4-feet, 9-inches or taller and under 8 years old. 

My goal in writing about this is to inform and educate parents on the proper way in which to restrain their children. 

The five different types of child restraints are; infant only, convertible, combination, booster and high back booster. 

Over the next month or so I will write more in-depth on each one of these types of seats and when they are best suited for your child. 

You will hear me say the term “best practice” a lot.  When I say this I am basically trying to tell you the best way to keep your child safe. 

Best practice does not always mean the way in which you were carrying your child was wrong, but not the safest.

I received my education on this through a “Safe Kids” three-and-half day training on proper child restraint installation along with two Ellis County sheriff’s deputies.  Our goal is to put together child safety seat check points periodically here in Waxahachie and the Ellis County area. 

Please make sure that if you or someone you know has a child under 10 that they read these articles over the next month. 

If you have a Police Beat question for Officer Wess Winn, he may be reached by e-mail at wwinn@waxahachiepd.org or call 972-937-9940, Ext. 211. Look for your questions to be answered here in the Waxahachie Daily Light every Sunday or listen to officer Winn’s show on KBEC Radio AM 1390 at 9 a.m. every Monday.