Purchasing a car seat is one of the first steps that a family makes in planning for a child. While many parents understand the importance of a car seat, it is also important that car seats are installed in the safest manner possible. To prevent car seat accidents, parents must use the car seat in the correct manner. A large number of car seats, however, are not used properly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 75% of car seats are not installed properly. This article will provide tips that parents should following when using a car seat and the significance behind them.
Use the Car Seat Whenever Transporting a Child
Not all children respond positively to being placed in a car seat. Many parents particularly dislike to see their children show distress, but it is vital that parents keep their children in car seats no matter how long a trip a family has embarked on. This means that every time a child is in a car and the car is moving, the child should be securely fastened in a car seat.
Do Not Take Children Out of Car Seats Too Early
The instructions on car safety systems can be challenging. These devices often must list both an age and a weight/height limit. Many experts recommend using weight/height limits as opposed to a person’s age. Because many children increase in size and weight at different times, it does not matter how old a child is. Recommendations state that infants should be kept in rear-facing car seats until they reach appropriate height and weight limits. It is recommended that a five-point harness be used to restrain a child until that child is over 40 pounds. When a child is over 40 pounds but less than 4’9” tall, the child should ride in a booster seat.
Make Sure the Car Seat is Correctly Installed
Car seats should always be installed in the rear of a vehicle. Statistics show this location is the safest spot for children in case of an accident. Families should also make sure to follow any directions provided by the car seat’s manufacturer. If properly installed, the car seat should not move more than one inch in any direction.
Know When to Replace a Car Seat
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that individuals replace car seats whenever the car seat is inside of a vehicle involved in either a moderate or severe accident. Safety seats that have been involved in these types of accidents stop providing the highest level of crash protection.
Talk to a Seasoned Accident Attorney
Unfortunately, even if a parent follows all of these pieces of advice, child safety seats can still seriously hurt or even kill children. If you or a loved one needs assistance with a motor vehicle accident involving a car seat, we recommend speaking with a seasoned accident attorney at Ferrara & Gable.