According to news sources, almost 30 of 45 children who were in fatal car crashes were restrained improperly. A correctly installed car seat could have saved that child 34 percent of the time. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that a restraint that is properly installed can decrease the chance of death by 71 percent.
It’s National Child Passenger Safety Week, and the following tips are some advice to help you protect your child in the event of a crash.
-Make sure your child’s seat is installed tightly. If a simple tug can move the seat around more than an inch in any direction, it’s too loose. Push your weight into the seat to get it as close to the seat belt as possible. Make sure the seat belt locks into place.
-The harness shouldn’t be too loose, or too high or low. If the webbing can be pinched between your fingers when the seat is occupied, it’s too loose. The harness straps should be at or below the shoulders when the seat is rear-facing, and at or above the shoulders when the seat is forward-facing.
-The rear-facing position is recommended for children under the age of two.
-Booster seats should be used for children who are under 4’9”, as seat belts are designed for that height and taller.
-Make sure your car’s seat belt has not be recalled and hasn’t expired. Car seats themselves usually expire after six years.
As a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, I hope these tips are useful in the event of a crash. In my experience as a product liability lawyer, the equipment you use to restrain your child can make a huge difference in the event of a crash.