Safety Tips for Children Riding in Cars
No parent ever wants to later wonder if he or she could have done more to better protect a child from serious injury or death following a car accident. Yet all too often, many of us either fail to purchase the best car seats we can afford or forget to properly buckle up our kids in them before we leave each day. Given the large number of children seriously injured or killed in auto accidents each year, we must each look for new ways to fully protect them. Fortunately, our federal government maintains an excellent Internet web page that provides caregivers with critical links for safeguarding their child passengers. You can find this page included with other useful ones on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website. It includes such useful links as: Car Seats and Booster Basics, Installation Tips, Securing Your Child and Instructional Videos.
Although this web page should serve as your main guide for properly securing and protecting children riding in vehicles, here are a few general pointers derived from this material.
General Safety Tips for Helping Your Kids Ride Safely in Vehicles
- All children age 12 and under should ride in a special car seat. Although a small percentage of kids get very early growth spurts, this is a good rule of thumb;
- Kids age 12 and under should always ride in the back seat. Although many children will ask to sit up front with you, always remind them that back seat passengers usually suffer fewer serious injuries during auto accidents;
- Car seat choices must be based on each child’s size and age. You should always take your children with you when purchasing safety car seats. Obtaining a proper fit within the straps and belts is critical;
- Never put your child in any car seat before fully reading the user manual. Although the manufacturer’s booklet should provide helpful hints, don’t forget to visit the NHTSA website so that you can watch its instructional videos on properly positioning your child’s car seat and placing your child in it. Approximately 73 % of children’s car seats are not installed or used correctly;
- Babies less than 12 months old – and kids up to age four – require special attention. Always strap these little ones into appropriate, rear-facing car seats;
- Change the seat positions for kids ages four through seven. These children are usually safest if placed in forward-facing seats;
- Introducing regular seatbelts to your children. This should normally be done when kids turn twelve years old – or when they no longer need special car seats;
- Always check the CPSC product recall page before buying any car seat. The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission provides monthly lists of all (past) and newly recalled car seats for children;
Please take the time to visit the NHTSA website page referenced above so you can discover additional resources for keeping your kids safe while riding in your car.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious accident or injury, contact the Maus Law Firm to learn more about your rights. The Maus Law Firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach and the Florida Keys, and handles accident and injury claims throughout Miami-Dade, Monroe, Collier, Lee, Broward and Palm Beach counties. You’ll need the help of an experienced South Florida injury/accident attorney on your side. Call Toll Free today at: (855) 999-LAWS, or locally at (954) 784-6310.