Choosing Restraint Systems for Larger Children

Child safety is paramount, especially when it comes to car travel. Safety restraint systems are crucial to ensuring children are protected in the event of a car accident. These systems are also the law in Florida.


At Flaxman Law Group, we’ve worked with many families who have been devastated because their child has been injured in a traffic accident. In some cases, poorly fitted or faulty safety systems can lead to serious injuries, which is why we’ve put together this guide to help you find the right solution for your child. If at any time your child is injured in a car accident, we also invite you to contact us for a free accident consultation with a Florida car accident claims attorney. Our offices in Miami, Homestead, and Hollywood are here for you.

Choosing the Right Safety Restraint Systems

Most safety restraint systems are based on age and weight. One challenge with these systems is that they are often designed in standard sizes of what a child at a specific height may be. However, one in three children in America are currently overweight or obese. Some are simply taller than their peers. These factors can impact how effective child safety restraint systems can be. If you have a child who doesn’t fit into standard systems, here’s what you may want to do:

  • Always have children younger than 13 ride in the back seat.
  • For children who are larger than their peers, pay more attention to height and weight limits rather than age limits on safety restraint systems. Keep toddlers in rear-facing car seats until they reach the height or weight limit.
  • Once children exceed the limits for rear-facing car seats, they should ride in forward-facing car seats with harnesses until they reach height and weight limits set by the manufacturer.
  • Once children have outgrown a car seat with a harness, they should use booster seats until they are tall enough for the shoulder belt of the seatbelt to cross the middle of the chest and the lap belt to fit low across their upper thighs.
  • For children who are too tall or past the weight limits for a forward-facing seat with a harness but who can’t yet safely use a booster seat, travel vests are a newer option. Most of these have weight limits of 60-168 pounds and they can be a good option for some kids.
  • Contact manufacturers to get help finding the right car seat for a larger child. Never place your child in a safety restraint system if they’re taller or heavier than the limits. Fortunately, more manufacturers are making car seats that fit larger children to help parents find the right solutions.
  • Check your safety restraint system regularly. Look for wear and tear and check online to make sure the seat hasn’t been recalled.

No matter what safety restraint system you choose, proper installation and usage are critical. Follow manufacturer guidelines and consult the seat’s manual to ensure correct installation. Make sure your child is comfortable and secure each time you get in the car.

What Should I Do If My Child is Injured in a Car Accident in Southern Florida?

If you’re child is injured in a traffic accident in Florida, you may have the right to seek compensation by pursuing any liable parties, including the manufacturers of any faulty safety restraint system. The compensation can help you pay for quality medical care for your child, so it’s worthwhile to find out whether you have a claim.

Flaxman Law Group is a family-based law firm with offices in Homestead, Hollywood, and Miami. We have more than 60 years of combined experience and have recovered over $100 million for injured individuals and families. If you or your child have been injured in a car crash in Florida, you can call Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626 anytime, 24/7, or contact us online to schedule a free, no obligation consultation with a Florida car accident claims lawyer.

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