We know that preventing an injury from happening in the first place is always better than filing a personal injury lawsuit. This is why we often focus on topics about safety on this blog. The safety of children is an especially important topic and one that we feel deserves attention.
Car seat safety has been gaining greater awareness lately, but there are many people who still aren’t properly protecting their children from auto accident injuries.
Choose the Right Car Seat to Prevent Car Accident Injuries to Children
You must be careful when choosing a car seat for your child. Make sure that the car seat meets modern safety standards and that your child’s seat is the correct size for their height and weight. Here are some tips to help you:
- Check to see if the car seat was part of a product recall (you can search online at the Consumer Product Safety Commission website).
- Evaluate the rating provided by the National Health and Traffic Safety Association (they test every car seat on the market).
- Read up on product reviews.
- Consider the cost. Choosing a seat with a high safety rating is essential because it’s all about the safety of your child. Beware of low cost car seats because they could reflect untested quality.
Guidelines When Buying a Car Seat
There are important guidelines to consider when buying your child a car seat. The following are recommendations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- A child younger than 1 year old, or weighing less than 20 pounds, must be in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat.
- Children 1-3 years old should remain rear facing for as long as possible because studies show it is the safest position. Check the height and weight recommendations of the car seat manufacturer for specific limits. When they have outgrown the rear-facing limits, they may ride in a forward-facing car seat equipped with a harness and tether strap, install in the back seat.
- Children ages 4 to 8 should ride in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether installed in a back seat until they outgrow the maximum height or weight limits allowed by the manufacturer. Once a child has outgrown the car seat, they should transition to a booster seat installed in the back seat of the vehicle.
- Children should ride in the back seat until the age of 12 and remain in a booster seat until they weigh more than 80 pounds and reach a height of 4 feet 9 inches. When they have outgrown the booster seat, teach them how to properly wear a seat belt.
Installing a Car Seat to Prevent Car Accident Injuries to Children
If your car seat is not properly installed the safety of your child could be in jeopardy. Every vehicle and car seat has different instructions for installation. It is extremely important to follow those directions carefully.
Read the manual that came with the car seat and the manual that came with your vehicle. Every car seat must be installed with the seat bels or the lower anchors. If you chose the seatbelt, make sure you pay attention to how to lock the seat belt in the vehicle owner’s manual.
- Put the car seat in the back seat of your car and follow manufacturer instructions
- The car seat must be tightly secured in the back seat. Make sure it doesn’t move side to side or front to back
- For a forward-facing seat with a tether strap, you need to connect it to the tether anchor and make sure it is tight. This step is very important in limiting forward movement of the seat
- For a rear facing seat, make sure the seat is installed at the correct recline angle. Most car seats now have a built-in angle indicator that helps with this step.
- If you aren’t sure if your seat is installed correctly, or you want help making sure that it is, contact your local fire or police department. Most of them offer a free car seat safety inspection.
If your child has been injured due to a faulty car seat, you need to speak to a personal injury attorney that can help you.
The Lieser Law Firm will stand by you and help you and your child get the recovery you deserve.
CONTACT them today for a FREE legal consultation.