Car Seat Clarity: Is YOUR Child One of the Millions Riding Unprotected from a Crash?

Did you know that 3 out of 4 car seats and restraints for children are being used incorrectly?  Could your child be one of the millions riding without proper protection?  Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 12; in 2009 alone, more than 1,300 children aged 14 and under were killed in auto accidents, and roughly 179,000 more were injured.  

According to the CDC, child seat restraints are the best protection for children in auto collisions, with safety seats cutting the risk of death by more than half for children ages 1 to 4 and more than 70 percent for infants.  But to achieve these levels of protection, children must be appropriately restrained according to their age and weight.  The CDC gives these recommendations:

Children up to 2 years A rear-facing seat is the safest option for children of this age group.  They should be kept in this variety of safety seat until they reach the weight or height limits of your specific model.

Children 2 to 4, or up to 40 lbs. Children between the ages of 2 and 4 will generally be safest in front-facing car seats, though you should consult the owner’s manual of your particular seat for actual weight and height limits.  Some newer models have higher limits.

Ages 4 to 8 and up to 4’9” tall Once a child grows out of a forward-facing car seat, he or she should move to a booster seat for maximum protection.  

Age 8 and up, or over 4’9” tall Before moving children out of booster seats, be sure that adult seat belts will fit them correctly; the lap belt should lay snug against their upper thighs, not across their stomachs, and the shoulder belt should cross in front of the chest and shoulders, not the face or neck. Remember, the back seat is still the safest place for children, and in West Virginia, it is the law that children under eight years old and 4’ 9” tall remain in an approved child seat while the vehicle is in motion.

Car seats should be placed in the back seat only and installed according to directions in the owner’s manual.  For assistance with the installation and use of your child’s car or booster seat, you can take it to an inspection station in your area.  

If your child is injured in an automobile accident, call an experienced West Virginia car accident attorney.  The staff here at The Miley Legal Group has more than 15 years of experience fighting for people just like you and is dedicated to getting you and your family the compensation you deserve.  Contact us today at (304) 326-1800 for a free consultation.

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