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Child Safety: Most Children Not Buckled into Car Seats Properly

December 31, 1969

Everyone knows that you're supposed to buckle up every time you get into your car. You know you're supposed to properly buckle in kids, too. Unfortunately, these rules are oftentimes "forgotten" as close to 150,000 children wind up in emergency rooms every year because of car crashes, according to Red Orbit.
According to research from the University of Michigan, not very many parents follow federal child seat recommendations for their young passengers. These findings were recently published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. They highlighted that a good majority of children aren't sitting in the right child seats. The risks for bodily harm increase when this happens. There are also far too many young passengers riding in the front seat near an active airbag when their bodies are far too fragile to handle this kind of impact should the airbag deploy.

Our Los Angeles car accident lawyers understand that car accidents are the number one cause of death for children under the age of 3-years-old. Parents are the one line of defense that can help to keep their young passenger safe. These young children can't buckle themselves in. Still, many parents across the country are showing complete disregard for their child's safety. Others are inadvertently endangering their child through improper use of child-safety gear.

"The 'best' car seat is the one that fits your child, fits your vehicle and one you will use every time your child is in the car," said Ray LaHood with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Child Restraint Usage Stats, from the University of Michigan:

-Most kids don't stay in a rear-facing car seat after they turn 1-years-old.

-Less than 2 percent of kids stay in a booster seat after they turn 7-years-old.

-Many kids over the age of 6 ride in a front seat with an active airbag.

"Overall few children are using the restraints recommended for their age group, and many children over five are sitting in the front seat," said Dr. Michelle L. Macy, a co-author of the study.

Car Seat Recommendations from the NHTSA:

-Children under the age of 1 should ride in a rear-facing car seat. Only move them to the next stage once they outgrow their seat.

-Children between the ages of 1 and 3 should ride in a front-facing seat only when they outgrow their rear-facing seat. They're also to be kept in the back seat. Never put them near an active airbag.

-Children between the ages of 4 and 7 should stay in a front-facing car seat for as long as they meet the size and weight requirements. Once they outgrow a seat, you can move them to a booster seat.

-Children between the ages of 8 and 12 should stay in a booster seat for as long as they can. Only when an adult seat belt fits them properly should you graduate them to a seat without a child seat.

If you or your child has been injured in an accident, contact personal injury attorney Vincent Howard today for a schedule a free and confidential consultation. Call (800) 872-5925.

Additional Resources:

Not Many Follow Child Car Seat Safety Guidelines, by Connie K. Ho, Red Orbit

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What You Do After A Southern California Car Crash Can Impact Your Chances of Obtaining the Maximum Recovery, California Injury Lawyers, July 28, 2012

California Supreme Court's Ruling in Child Car Seat Custody Case is One More Reason Why These Safety Devices are Necessary, California Injury Lawyers, July 7, 2012