Children, especially infants, aren’t aware of what’s supposed to be done to keep them safe in a car. However, adults know about safety measures and are capable of doing it for the children. No matter how careful we are as drivers, we don’t have any control over what other drivers are doing. To make sure everyone is safe, make sure you and your kids are properly buckled.
Why are car seats and seat belts crucial to ensuring child safety?
Here in the United States, the number one cause of death among children is motor vehicle injuries, many which are caused by not wearing a seat belt. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, 33% of children who died in crashes in 2011 were not wearing seat belts. Here are two statistics about car seats and seat belts:
- According to CDC, using car seats reduce the risk of death among infants (aged one year and below) by 71% and toddlers (aged 1 to 4-years-old) by 54%. Using a booster seat also lowers the risk of serious injury by 45% for children aged 4 to 8-years-old, when compared to using seat belts alone.
- In the event of a crash, the car stops moving as it hits an object but passengers and anything inside the vehicle continues to move forward. The impact can be so strong that a person can be thrown out of the car. So, car seats and seat belts help keep passengers in their seats and save their lives.
Child car seat safety
Wearing just a seat belt can be harmful to a young child. This is because the seat belt is across their throat and lap instead of their chest and lap. If you're in an accident, and your child isn't in the proper car or booster seat, it could be fatal. To help prevent fatal injuries from seat belts, have your child sit in a car or booster seat. Here are a few more reminders for child car seat safety:
- Their seat should be appropriate for their age, height and weight. If your child is 2-years-old or below, they should be using rear-facing car seats. Those ages 2 to 5-years-old may use a forward-facing seat. Once the child outgrows the forward-facing seat, they can proceed to using a booster seat.
- Refer to the seat’s owner’s manual for the height and weight limitations. You may seek further assistance from technicians or fitting stations available in your area to ensure that the car seats are properly installed and are of the right fit for the users.
- Be the role model and always wear your seat belt.
As a Kentucky Child Accident Attorney, I encourage everyone to regularly check the condition of their car seats and seat belts. I understand it takes more time to check them, but when it comes to car seats for our children, it’s for their safety. This is something we definitely can’t afford to compromise on. So, remember to not only buckle up yourself, but also make sure your child is buckled and in the appropriate car seat as well. In the aftermath of every unfortunate incident, we tend to ponder about things we could have done to prevent what happened. Please make sure to fasten your seat belts and drive distraction free.