A new booster seat law will take effect at the start of the new year across Florida. This law, passed last spring, will require children under the age of 5 to be secured in a federally-approved, crash-tested child safety seat each time they are in a car. The law is meant to reduce the number of child injuries in Homestead and Florida caused by traffic injuries.
While January seems a long time away, this is a good time to buy an age-appropriate child safety restraint system and to learn to use it properly. Even if your child is above the age of 5, using a restraint system correctly can help reduce the chances that your child will be seriously injured in a car accident. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), car seats can reduce infant fatalities by about 70% and can reduce toddler fatalities by 54%. Even before the January 1 deadline, it is a good idea to install and use a child safety restraint system correctly. If you are ever in a car accident in Homestead or your community, this simple precaution can save your child from serious harm.
One problem with car seats is that they are not always used consistently. In order for child restraint systems to offer maximum protection, it is important that they are used each time a child is transported by car. Under the new laws, children will be exempt from the new car seat law if they are being transported by a non-immediate family member or are being transported in the case of a medical emergency. Even in these cases, however, it can be important to use a safety restraint system.
Parents may wish to emphasize to caregivers the importance of always using a child safety restraint system. Buying an extra car seat for use in cabs or when traveling can make it easier to transport a child safely.
If you are shopping for a car seat or safety restraint system, keep these tips in mind:
- Always check to make sure that car seats and safety restraint systems are federally-approved and have been crash-tested.
- Always purchase new safety restraint systems, since used systems may be recalled or damaged.
- Sign up for notifications to make sure you will be alerted if the safety restraint system is recalled.
- Check both the age requirements for the system and the weight requirements. Even if your child is older, keep them in a car seat or child safety restraint system until their weight requires the next safety system.
- Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing and using the safety system. If you have any questions or if something is unclear, contact the manufacturer for assistance.
An additional problem with car seats is that many parents do not use child safety restraint systems correctly. According to many safety experts, most car seats and safety restraint systems are not used correctly. If you have concerns about how your car seat is installed or used, speak to your pediatrician about local inspections and resources that can help.
If your you or your child have been injured in a car accident, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free case consultation. A member of our legal team would be pleased to discuss your situation.