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The Stages of Seat Belts

Age-appropriate safety restraint systems are one of the best ways to prevent childhood injury to young passengers. If you are ever in a car collision in Hollywood or any Florida community, having your child in an appropriate safety seat can help them avoid more serious injury. It could even save their lives.

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One of the best things you can do for your child when you drive them around is to buckle them into the right safety restraint system for their age. You should use weight and age guidelines, but in general you will want to use this guide to choose the right option:

  • Choose a rear-facing car seat from birth until age two. This seat is buckled into the rear seat and offers the greatest protection. You will want to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat until the reach the upper height and weight limits of the seat manual.
  • Choose a forward-facing car seat for toddlers. From age two to ages five and possibly beyond, a forward-facing car seat is the right option. Look at the height and weight limits of the car seat manual to get a sense of how long you can use this type of seat. At this stage in childhood development, children may protest being placed in a car seat, but it’s important to keep them in the car seat anyway, each time they ride in the car.
  • Keep children in a booster seat from about age five until they can wear a seat belt correctly. Once children have reached the weight and height limit of a car seat, they will still benefit from a booster seat. Children can leave the booster seat behind when the car seat belt goes across their thighs (not their stomach) and crosses their shoulder without cutting into the neck. This can be another challenging time with seat belts. Older children may resist the idea of a booster seat and want to wear a seat belt like adults do. In the event of a crash, however, not using a booster seat can cause serious injury. Without a booster seat, your child’s seat belt may not fit correctly. It may dig into their neck, cutting skin and causing serious injury.

When choosing the right safety seat for your child, always read the manual and always buy a new seat with good safety ratings. Used seats may have already been impacted by an accident and may be out of date.

If you or your child are injured in an accident due to a defective car seat or a negligent driver, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation to review your options.