The leading cause of death in children ages one to 12 years old in the United States is car crashes. Child safety seats are the best way to protect children in moving vehicles. However, if a child car seat is not properly installed in a car, it does not provide adequate protection. The rate of improper car seat installation and usage has been found to be approximately 80% and may be as high as 95% in some areas. Using properly installed car seats that are appropriate for the size and age of your child can significantly reduce the risk of fatal car accident injuries.
Different Types of Child Safety Seats
Car seats are generally categorized into infant seats, toddler seats and boosters. Parents should research the options and review their car’s harnessing system before purchasing a car seat.
General Car Seat Guidelines
Infant Carrier Car Seat
- Carrier seat can be removed from its base in the car and attached to a stroller.
- Infant seat must be rear facing until the child is two years old or 35-45 pounds, whichever comes first.
- Infants must be restrained in a five point harness with the chest clip at armpit level, not the neck or abdomen.
- The entire car seat itself should be at a 45 degree recline.
- Once the infant has reached the maximum weight or age, they can graduate to a high back toddler seat.
- A rear facing seat should never be installed in the front seat, especially if there is an active airbag present.
- Car seat is placed forward facing and must have a five point restraint.
- The entire unit is situated in an upright position without any recline.
- A forward facing car seat should never be installed in the front seat, especially if there is an active airbag present.
- Boosters are used with a car’s regular seat belt.
- Lap belts must sit high on the thighs or low on the hips.
- The shoulder belt needs to cross the center of the shoulder and the chest. If this is not achievable, the child must stay in the toddler high back seat.
Tethers and latch hooks come on all car seats, and it is the owner’s responsibility to install the seat correctly utilizing the car manual and the car seat instruction manual. Many police stations offer free car seat installation assistance. Parents must also stay vigilant and be on the lookout for car seat recalls due to avoid the risk of injury from a defective product.
Cherry Hill Personal Injury Lawyers at Folkman Law Advocate for Car Passenger Safety
Cherry Hill personal injury lawyers at Folkman Law represent victims who have been injured or have lost loved ones in car accidents in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Our offices are located in Cherry Hill, Philadelphia and King of Prussia. Contact Folkman Law online, or call 856-354-9444 for a free phone consultation.