Child Safety Seat Distribution and Education Program

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Distribution Class photo

Program goal

To reduce the number of motor vehicle crash (MVC) injuries and fatalities to children in Texas who are unrestrained due to family low-income status, Safe Riders manages a child safety seat distribution and education program. The program is available in most, but not all areas of Texas. Program objectives are:

  • Coordinate a statewide child safety seat distribution and education program (authorized by Texas law, 1993).
  • Provide free, unlimited, community-based, child passenger safety (CPS) education to Texas families through educational classes.
  • Provide CPS educational classes that are open to the public at locations that are consistent and identifiable in the community.
  • Provide qualifying families with one car seat (programs may issue more than one seat when appropriate).  It is not possible, nor the responsibility for any distribution program partner, to supply safety seats to every child in a family.
  • Partner with local community groups, who educate families regarding CPS and distribute child safety seats to eligible families in accordance with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) guidelines.

Becoming a distribution and education program

The Safe Riders Program is currently accepting applications for the Child Safety Seat Distribution and Education Program through May 5, 2014. Applications will be screened for the following:

  1. Applying organizations must have at least one Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) on staff. The CPST must serve as the primary or secondary contact. The technician number must be provided with the application. For information on the certification process, please visit http://cert.safekids.org/.
  2. Organizations and staff working on the distribution program must be available during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm, year round. Organizations that are closed for more than 2 weeks at a time are not eligible.
  3. If an organization and/or program contact have participated in the program in past years, the organization or individual must have fulfilled all program requirements and met reporting deadlines for the years of participation.
  4. Safe Riders requires each local program site to distribute at least 50 seats per 12-month cycle (a minimum of approximately 4 seats per month).

Applications that are not complete (information missing, questions unanswered) or are not completed according to the instructions will not be considered and subsequently returned to the applicant.

Programs are needed in several Texas cities, but especially in the DFW area, Houston, and East Texas. If you are located in one of these areas, please consider applying or passing this information on to another organization that you think would be a good fit with the program.

Existing programs should NOT fill out this application. These programs may request additional seats and subsequently will be resupplied providing that their program is in good standing. The basic good standing requirements are:

  1. Recipient lists submitted regularly and correctly.
  2. Car seats distributed appropriately, according to child's age, weight, height, special needs, and Safe Riders policy.
  3. Clear and timely communication with Safe Riders regarding contact and referral information.
  4. Responds appropriately to Safe Riders and/or parents and caregivers regarding special or unique distribution circumstances. 

Distribution and Education Program Application (295K PDF)

Due date for application is May 5, 2014

Eligibility requirements for receiving a seat

  • Family must be low-income.
  • One of the child's primary caregivers must attend a 1-hour class about child passenger safety.
  • Someone in the household must have a vehicle.

Pregnant women in their last trimester are encouraged to participate. Safe Riders does not provide "infant carriers" but provides convertible seats which can be used rear-facing for young children and then can be converted to forward-facing use when appropriate. Booster seats for older children are also available. Assistance is designed to be one-time only.

Call Safe Riders at 800-252-8255 from 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday. You will be referred to a program in your area to contact in order to get scheduled for the next available child safety seat class. Please understand that seats are not always available in every area of the state and programs do not always have a supply of seats.

Class evaluation

Safe Riders continually seeks to improve its services. If you have recently attended a child safety seat class, please share your comments about the class at saferiders@dshs.state.tx.us.  

Distribution flyers

(click on images below to view flyers)

Distribution Flyer (Eng.)Distribution Flyer (Span.)

Buckle Up and Be a Safe Rider English (Black and White Print 284K PDF Version)

Buckle Up and Be a Safe Rider Spanish (Black and White Print 279K PDF Version)

Last updated April 02, 2014