Here is a sobering statistic: the leading cause of death in U.S. children ages three to 14 is car accidents. In 2014, 121,350 children aged 12 and younger were injured in a car accident, and in 2015, more than 663 children died in a motor vehicle accident.
Studies have shown that consistent use of a car seat for young children can help prevent severe injury in the event of a car accident. However, a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that in a single year, more than 618,000 children aged 12 and under rode in a car without the use of a car seat, booster seat, or a seatbelt.
The proper use of a car seat (also called a child safety seat) is essential in preventing children from being severely injured during a car accident. Here are six tips that outline how to properly use a child safety seat:
- Avoid using the incorrect harness slot. The car seat’s harness should be placed below or at the child’s shoulders if the seat is in the rear-facing position. If the seat is in the forward-facing position, the harness should be placed at or above the child’s shoulders.
- The car seat should be in the rear-facing position until the child is of age 2. After age 2, the child may be in a car seat that is forward-facing.
- Once the child outgrows a forward-facing car seat, he or she may ride in a belt-positioning booster seat.
- Make sure the seat belt in a booster seat is positioned correctly. The seat belt should not rest on the child’s neck, abdomen, or face.
- The seat’s harness should not be loose. Make certain that the harness is firmly positioned against the child’s body.
- Do not use an expired car seat. Oftentimes, parents will use the same car seats they used for their first child again for their other children. However, car seats can expire and are usually good for six to 10 years. They expire due to several reasons, including deteriorated materials, discontinued models, and rust. A car seat’s expiration date is usually printed on the seat or in the instruction manual that came with the seat.
Contact Our Experienced Aurora Personal Injury Attorneys Today
At Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur, P.C., we understand how important the safety and well-being of your little ones are to you. If you or a loved one have been involved in a traffic accident, contact our Kane County car accident lawyers at 630-907-0909 to schedule a free consultation.