The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) promotes Child Passenger Safety Week in September, officially running from September 19 through the 25. The agency encourages parents and guardians to use this time to review their children’s car seat use and make sure they are in the right seat for their size. Manufacturers design each seat to offer protection for children based on their height and weight. As such, parents should check regularly and adjust as needed.
How can I make sure my car seat keeps my children safe?
The agency also recommends keeping kids rear facing seats as long as possible based on the height and weight limits listed for the seat. The agency further encourages parents switch from a traditional car seat to a booster seat before moving to the seatbelt. The car seat makers design these boosters to help better ensure the seatbelt properly fits the child — with the lap belt on the thighs not the abdomen and the shoulder belt going over the shoulder, not the neck.
Each seat can also have its nuances when it comes to installation. To better ensure it works as intended, make sure you install the car seat correctly. If you are unsure, a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician can check the seat and help make sure you are using it correctly.
How important is car seat use?
The NHTSA reports that car accidents killed 608 children under the age of 12 in 2019 alone. We know that car seats help to protect children from the impact of these accidents. Without car seat use, these tragic numbers would be even higher.
Unfortunately, even when parents and loved ones take these precautions to keep children safe accidents happen. When the accident causes serious injuries to children and is the fault of another driver, that driver can be held accountable for the expenses that result from the accident. This is particularly important for injuries to children, as they can face a lifetime of physical therapy or additional medical needs.