Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show that car accidents are a leading cause of death in the US for children 12 years old and younger. During 2015, 663 children were killed in auto accidents and another 121,350 suffered injuries. While this is alarming information, there are steps that you could take to reduce your child’s chances of death or injury during a crash. Statistics published by the CDC show that the proper use of car seats can significantly reduce the chances of a child dying or suffering an injury during a motor vehicle accident.
According to the CDC, the proper use of child safety seats can reduce the risk of death for infants by 71 percent. For toddlers between 1 and 4 years old, the risk of death is reduced by 54 percent. Not only can the proper use of seats reduce the risk of death, they can also prevent severe injuries. The CDC also maintains that booster seats can reduce the risk of serious injury by 45 percent for children between the ages of 4 and 8 years old.
Four Tips for Finding the Right Child Car Seat
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published several car seat safety tips for parents. You may improve your child’s safety by using the following tips from NHTSA.
- Pick the right car seat for your child’s age and size. Various types of car seats are made for children of different ages and sizes. There are rear-facing seats, forward facing seats and booster seats, each with their own height and weight limits. NHTSA has a calculator on its website that can be very helpful while car seat shopping.
- Perform the installation correctly. Installation mistakes could keep a car seat from being effective during a crash. Fortunately, many areas across the US offer free services that can prevent parents from making installation mistakes. Police departments, fire stations and nonprofit organizations may inspect or install car seats. NHTSA’s website has a search tool that allows you to find these services in your area. You may have to shop around and may be asked to make an appointment.
- Register the car seat with the manufacturer or sign up with NHTSA for recall notices. Car seats are occasionally recalled because they contain safety defects. Defective car seats could put your child at risk for injury or death. You can register on NHTSA’s website to receive notices when car seats are recalled.
- There are other things to consider. Avoid used safety seats if you can. Used car seats could suffer from basic wear and tear that reduce their effectiveness. In addition, there are certain types of clothing that can prevent car seats from working correctly. For instance, bulky winter coats can reduce the effectiveness of the straps.
Even if you avoid mistakes and select the correct car seat, there are reasons why your child could be harmed. Defective car seats may cause catastrophic injuries or death. If you suspect a defective auto product caused your child harm, then please reach out to Walsh Woodard, LLC. Our Hartford product liability lawyers could discuss possible legal options for pursuing damages against the manufacturer or other parties.