Child Car Seat Safety
An experienced Personal Injury Lawyer can inform you of your rights if you or someone you love is injured in car crash. An estimated 46% of car and booster seats are misused in a way that could reduce their effectiveness according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This sobering statistic and others cause government agencies and local organizations to launch child safety seat campaigns every year. Raising awareness around car seat safety can save children’s lives.
- In 2016, in the U.S. 732 children, under the age of 12 died in car crashes.
- Of those, 35% of them were not buckled in.
- Restraint use among young children often depends upon the driver’s seat belt use.
- The use of a car seat reduces the risk of injury in a crash up to 82% and boosters 45%.
The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) lead the conversation on child car seat safety. Together, they inform the public as well as car seat manufacturers on best practices for child passenger safety.
Follow these tips for keeping your child passenger safe.
- Turn children facing forward until at least 2 years of age.
When a child rides rear-facing, the head, neck, and spine are all supported by the hard shell of the car safety seat, allowing the car seat to absorb most of the crash forces, and protecting the most vulnerable parts of the body.
- Purchase used car seats from an unknown source.
If you don’t know a car seat’s history, don’t use it. Used seats should Come with instructions and a label showing the manufacture date and model number. They should not be more than 6 years old and should not have been in any previous accidents.
- Assume you know how to install a car seat if you’ve never done it before.
Cars made after 2002 have a latch system that you should use to secure car seats to your vehicle. Before that, belt installation varies from seat to seat. Find a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician in your area to help show you how to install your car seat free of charge. Often these can be found at your local fire station.
- Place car seat in the front seat.
The back seat is the safest place for your child’s car seat. Airbags can kill young children riding in the front seat. Never place a rear-facing car seat in front of an airbag. The middle of the back seat is the safest spot in the car to place children.
- Keep all children in car seats or boosters until at least age 8.
It is safe to move your child out of the booster when he or she reaches a height of 4 feet 9 inches, sits against the back of the seat with knees bent comfortably at the seat edge and when the seat belt rest comfortable over the hips and the shoulder, not below hips or on the neck or face.
- Opt for the 5-point harness
Older seats may have a 3-point harness. Choosing a 5-point harness ensures that your child is secured to the seat in five places preventing them slipping out of the safety of the seat in the event of a crash.
- Buckle children safely for every trip.
No matter how short the trip, an accident can happen. Make sure you are properly securing children every time they are passengers in a moving vehicle.
Model proper vehicle safety by buckling up every time you ride in a car with children. Make sure that any family members or other caregivers know how to properly install and buckle car seats. Proper car seat use will greatly reduce the risk of child injuries in your vehicle.
If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury in a car crash, contact The Personal Injury Department at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury lawyer at The Law Offices of Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have.