What to Know about Child Safety Car Seats
Child car seat injuries occur because of the lack of knowledge by a lot of parents about what type of seats and restraints should be applied to their children while riding a car.
It is important to remember that seatbelts are designed to protect the average sized adults and not small children.
That is why in the event of a car accident, children are thrown off the vehicle and sustains major injuries even though they were wearing seatbelts.
All 50 states, including California, have their own child safety laws that require the use of child safety seats and booster seats for infants and children.
However, you should not just buy the next child or booster seat you see. You should think it over before deciding which safety seat is right for your child.
An appropriate child safety seat should depend on your child’s age, weight and height.
Here are some guidelines that you can follow about the kind of car safety protection your child needs.
- A federally approved infant safety seat should be used for children aged 1 year and below. The infant seat should be facing the rear of the car to protect the infant’s fragile neck in the event of a car crash. The infant safety seat should also be semi- reclined to so the baby’s head does not flop forward.
- Children aged between 1 to 4 years old can be placed in a child convertible seat that faces forward. However, the car should also be equipped with safety harness straps so that the child is securely held in place.
- When your child outgrows the convertible seat, they can now be placed in a booster seat. This will allow the seatbelt to fit the child better and more comfortably.
- When the child grows too big for the booster seat, he or she can now move to a regular car seat with regular seat belts. It is recommended though, that they continue sitting on the back seat until they reach the age of 12.
Following the said guidelines should reduce the risk of major injuries to your child in case of a car accident.
However, parents should make sure that the safety seats they use are properly installed. A recent study showed that although 80% of drivers use child safety seats, about 70% of those were improperly installed.
The most common mistakes were the improper use of harness and tethers that keep the child secured in the event of an accident.
To avoid these mistakes, you can follow the following tips:
- You should carefully study the car safety seat instructions and the vehicle owner’s manual.
- Check if you are going to need a special locking clip because not all standard seatbelts would secure a car safety seat without it.
- Look for the label that says the car safety seat has met federal motor vehicle standards.
- The car seat that you installed should not move more than one inch from side or forward. It should be a tight fit.
- Check for proper installation by pushing and pulling on the car seat near the belt buckle.
- Send in the car seat registration card to get information on possible recall orders.
If your child has been injured because of a defective safety car seat, you may have a product liability claim in your hands.
Consult with an expert product liability lawyer right away.