It may be surprising to know that as many as half of all child passengers in the United States are travelling in car seats and booster seats that are incorrectly installed or not suitable for the child’s age or weight specifications. Yet, many parents continue to remain unaware that they may be placing their child at risk of serious injuries in an accident.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is sponsoring Child Passenger Safety Week between September 15 and September 21 this year. The aim of the campaign is to make sure that parents know the importance of securing their child in the correct car seat for his age or weight, as well as making sure that the car seat is properly secured and installed. Parents should also remember to get their child’s car seat registered with the manufacturer.
One of the most important things to remember is to make sure that the car seat is installed correctly. You can get your car seat checked by a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician to ensure that it is correctly installed. Find a car safety seat inspection technician near you by using this tool. Remember, an incorrectly installed car seat is at risk of coming loose or collapsing in an accident, causing serious injuries to the child.
Secondly, make sure that your car seat is registered with the manufacturer at the time of purchase. This is as easy as filling out the information card that comes with the car safety seat and mailing it back to the manufacturer. This ensures that you have access to information about any flaws, safety defects or recalls related to your child’s car seat. Thousands of car seats are recalled every year, and many parents remain unaware of these recalls as a result of their failure to register their car seat. Without registration, you will miss out on important news related to your child’s car seat, placing him or her in danger when he or she is using a potentially defective or dangerous car seat.
Third, make sure that your child is restrained in a car seat that is suited for him. New parents are typically very vigilant about using rear-facing car seats when their baby is an infant. Once the child grows bigger or reaches the age of one, many parents tend to move him into a forward-facing car seat. However, child safety experts recommend that a child be placed in a rear-facing car seat at least until he reaches the age of two. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also recommends that parents place children in rear- facing car seats as long as the weight limits allow them to, and then move them to a forward- facing car seat.
When you child has grown too big for a forward- facing car seat, it’s time to move him to a booster seat. The booster seat is the last step before the chid is ready to be restrained in a full adult seat belt. Skipping these steps or trying to rush your child into a seat belt before he is ready for it, exposes him to the risk of injuries in the event of an accident.
Keep these three pointers in mind to ensure that your most beloved passengers are also the safest in your car.
The Atlanta car accident attorneys at the Katz Personal Injury Lawyers represent persons inured in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia. Call a lawyer at our firm to discuss your car accident claim.