Is Your Child's Car Seat Safe? Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes

car seatFor parents, the safety of their children is of the utmost importance, but there is often much to consider when it comes to car seat safety and, unfortunately, mistakes are sometimes made. To make sure your car ride together is a safe one, remember to read the car seat manufacturer’s instructions and take care in how you place the car seat, the direction in which it is facing, and buckling in children.

Below are some of the most common child car seat mistakes and tips on how to avoid them:

  1. Where Do I Put the Car Seat? Center or Side? Generally, the center of the back seat is the safest place to install a car seat. However, if you have multiple children, give the older forward-facing child the center and the rear-facing child the side. As long as the seats install securely side-by-side and the children get along well enough, this should serve as an effective and safe set-up.
  2. Your Kids Should Look Back. Rear-facing is safer than forward-facing since front and side impact crashes are usually the more deadly type of accidents. In a forward-facing position, the head usually gets pulled violently away from the chest. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that parents place a child in a car seat that is rear-facing until he or she is at least 2 years old.
  3. Seat belt or Lower Anchors? One is not necessarily safer than the other, but depending on the car seat, one may be easier to install. If you are installing a center seat, use a seat belt since few vehicles have the lower anchors to support a center seat. For side seats, you will likely have lower anchors. However, these anchors have weight limits, so be sure to check your car seat’s manual to make sure you have not reached the limit. If you have, you will have to use a seat belt to install the seat.
  4. For Forward-Facing Seats, Always Use a Tether. Always use a tether when using a forward-facing car seat. All forward-facing car seats in the United States have a tether strap, which comes up from the top of the car seat and has a hook on the end, which will connect to the tether anchor in your vehicle.

A tether on a forward-facing car seat decreases how far a child’s head will move in a crash by about 4 to 6 inches, which can be the difference between the child’s head hitting the back of the front seat or not.

5.Buckle the Child in Properly. When buckling kids in, make sure to straighten the straps. Twisted straps can act like a rope and possibly cause injury to a child. In the winter, do not bundle your kids in puffy coats and snowsuits that leave straps too loose. Instead, keep them warm with thin, tight layers that allow them to stay safe. You can also put a blanket over the car seat straps if necessary.

Louisville Car Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, the legal team at the Justice Law Office is here to assist and support you. We have successfully recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. Injuries sustained in car accidents can be severe, requiring long-term treatment and care, and resulting in major expenses. Let us use our knowledge and experience to help relieve you of your burdens during this difficult time.

Call us today at (502) 822-2230 for a free consultation.

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