Across the country, each year over 140 000 children are admitted to emergency rooms due to injuries caused by car accidents. Car accidents remain the leading cause of death for children older than three years of age. Despite these statistics, many pediatricians and childcare experts note that the majority of parents are not correctly securing their children into car safety restraints.
According to experts, a big part of the problem is that the safety guidelines when it comes to children and cars is confusing – and changes often. The safety seats of just a few years ago have been replaced with new guidelines and new devices. Worse, the laws concerning child safety restraints vary by state. Pediatricians and experts recommend that parents follow the guidelines available through the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The AAP guidelines are clear and tend to be conservative, which adds some extra precaution. AAP guidelines suggest:
1) Children under two years of age should be placed in a rear-racing car seat. This protects a young child most in the event of a Miami Gardens car accident.
2) Children over the age of two should be placed in a front-facing car seat until they reach the weight limit for the seat.
3) Children should use booster seats until they can sit at 57 inches tall (usually this is by about age 11). This is because the rear seat belts are more likely to cut into a child’s neck, face, and chest area in the event of a Miami Gardens truck accident or car accident, possibly causing serious injury. Seat belts are designed for adults, and a booster seat ensures that a child has the height needed to stay safe in an accident.
4) Children should not sit in the front seat until they reach the age of 13 years of age. The rear seat is the safest place for a child in the event of a Miami Gardens traffic accident. In the event of an accident, the child is more likely to hit the soft front seat rather than crash into a dashboard. Since children may not be as tall, air bags in the front seat can also pose a hazard, potentially causing Miami Gardens head injuries in the event of a car collision. Keeping a child in the back seat helps prevent this. In the event of a head-on crash, children will also be more protected in the back.
According to a survey completed by Dr. Michelle Macy of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan, only about 3% of children between the ages of 1-3 were correctly seated in rear-facing car seats. In the survey of 22 000 children between 2007 and 2009, Dr. Macy also found that only 10% of children between the ages of 8 and 10 were using booster seats.
According to Macy, in addition to following AAP guidelines, it is important to select a car seat with the highest weight capacities possible. This makes the car seat safer for the child and allows a parent to use the car seat for longer, which is financially better for the family as well.
If your child has been injured in a Miami Gardens car accident, contact the Flaxman Law Group to arrange for a no obligation consultation at no charge. Your free consultation is your chance to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney and to get answers about your options and rights.