Were you aware that the National Safety Council recognizes the last week of September as National Child Passenger Safety Week? The reason this week is devoted to child passenger safety is because “car crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages one to 13” [Source: U.S. Department of Transportation]. At each stage of a young child’s life, they are required to be properly restrained, whether that means in a car seat or even a booster seat. However, because many parents and caregivers fail to properly restrain their children, they wind up sustaining life-threatening and even fatal injuries in the event a car wreck occurs.
So, to help spread awareness and promote safety, the National Child Passenger Safety Week is used to provide the public with useful information that could potentially help save lives. Some of the public service ads that are offered include information on:
- How to Use a Car Seat Harness
- What is a Tether and Why it is Important?
- How to Use a Car Seat Tether
All of this information can be easily downloaded now by visiting the U.S. Department of Transportation website and it is provided in both English and Spanish.
Some other information that is expected to be reiterated during the last week of September is how to choose the right car seat for your child. The fact is, while many parents might think they are choosing the proper car seat and are buckling their child in safely, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that more than half the time child car seats are used incorrectly. It is for this reason that you are encouraged to follow updates the U.S. DOT provides during National Child Passenger Safety Week and share with friends and family ways they can help keep their kids safe in the event of an accident.
Aside from the information you will receive from all the sources provided above and during the last week of the month, we are also sharing a few tips for you as a refresher as to which type of car seat/restraint should be used depending on your child’s age.
Birth-12 Months– Your child should be sitting in a rear-facing car seat. This can be one that is intended for infants only or a convertible all-in-one car seat that can be used for when your child gets older.
1-3 Years of Age– During this stage, your child should still be sitting in a rear-facing car seat. The NHTSA says, “your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by the car seat manufacturer.” If your child reaches the size limits on the rear-facing seat, they can then be transitioned into a forward-facing car seat that is equipped with a harness and tether.
4-7 Years of Age– Your child should remain in a “forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether until he/she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer.” In the event your child outgrows this seat, they can then be placed into a booster seat, but must remain in the back seat of the vehicle.
8-12 Years of Age– Your child should remain sitting in a booster seat until they reach a size where they can properly fit a seat belt. NHSTA says that “for a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face.”
Once your child is able to fit into a seat belt, it should be reiterated to them time and time again that they must always be properly buckled before a vehicle takes off and should remain in the back seat of the car.
In the event you were involved in a car accident in Hammond, IN with your child and they sustained injuries, it is important that you have an IN car accident lawyer helping you file your insurance claim and recovering the compensation your family might need from the party responsible for causing the accident. Times can be tough following a car collision, especially one that left your small child injured which is why Marshall P. Whalley & Associates, PC reminds you that we are here to help you and support you through this difficult time.
You can also visit Marshall P. Whalley & Associates, PC at:
51 W. 112th Avenue
Crown Point, IN 46307