National Child Passenger Safety Week

September 18th marked the first day of National Child Passenger Safety Week. This annual campaign run by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration highlights the importance of ensuring children are placed in the correct car seat for their size and age.

A booster seat usage survey released by NHTSA shows that 37.4% of children ages 4 to 7 are not properly restrained. Of that 37.4%, 25.8% were restrained by seat belts and 11.6% were unrestrained.

The safety administration also found that car crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. Between 2010 and 2014, there were 3,181 children under the age of 13 killed, and 601,000 children injured in car crashes in the United States. In 2014 alone, over one-third (34%) of children under 13 that were killed in car crashes were not in car seats, booster seats or seat belts. It is likely that these deaths could have been prevented had parents ensured proper child passenger safety.

Choosing The Right Safety Seat For Your Child

Infant, convertible, booster seat, or all-in-one? We understand that choosing the right car seat for your child can be confusing, as there are a wide variety of products on the market. To ensure that your child is as safe as he or she could possibly be, follow these few simple tips:

NHTSA Car Seat Recommendations

Rear Facing VS Front Facing

Substantial research has shown that rear-facing child seats provide more protection for a child in a car crash than a forward facing car seat would. In a crash, a rear-facing child seat cradles and moves with your child to reduce stress to the child’s fragile neck and spinal cord. A child under the age of 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. A good rule of thumb is to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. Studies show that in a child’s second year of life, they are 5 times less likely to die or sustain serious injuries when they are in rear-facing car seats.

Once your child outgrows the rear-facing seat, you can move them to a forward-facing seat with a harness. Your child is not ready for a booster seat that uses the vehicle’s seat belt until they have outgrown the height and weight limits on the forward-facing car seat.

Typical Progression Of Car Seats

Safety Checks In Your Area

Texas law requires all children under 8 and shorter than 4′ 9″ tall to be in a car seat, which can carry fines up to $250. TxDOT hopes to remind drivers that properly buckling children in is an every day, year-round responsibility.

TxDOT’s free car seat inspections are available by appointment through September 24. To schedule a check text “seat” with your zip code to 876526 or log on to SaveMeWithASeat.com.

How A Carlson Attorney Can Help You

Here at The Carlson Law Firm we are strong proponents of child passenger safety. All to often we see children who are injured because they were not properly restrained in a motor vehicle that was involved in a car crash. We urge you to check with professionals to ensure that your car seat’s are properly installed and that all belts and harnesses are resting on your children at the right height.

If you, or someone you love, have been injured in an auto accident, contact The Carlson Law Firm right away for a free, no obligation, initial consultation.

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