Currently, Florida is one of only three states with no booster seat laws. Most other states have legislation in place making it mandatory for parents to place children over the age of four in booster seats. California has one of the toughest laws, requiring children over the age of four to use booster seats until they are 4 feet 9 inches high or until they are eight years old (whichever comes first). The car club AAA and legislators have been pressuring Florida to pass a booster seat law, arguing that such legislation would help prevent injuries to children involved in car accidents.
The idea behind age-appropriate safety restraints is based on the premise that car safety systems – including car seat belts and air bags – are designed for adults. In fact, these same safety systems, which can help prevent an Aventura brain injury for an adult victim of a car accident, can be life-threatening to children. Since children are smaller, air bags that deflate in an accident can easily suffocate them or cause head injuries. In an Aventura car accident, seat belts can cut into a child’s neck and cause serious injuries. That is why age-appropriate safety restraints are needed.
However, the laws surrounding child safety restraints can be confusing. Small babies are placed in rear-facing infant car seat. Eventually, a child is graduated to a harnessed rear-facing seat and then to a forward-facing seat. However, when children should move from one restraint system to another is not entirely clear. Car seats are based on height, weight, and the age of a child. Since children grow at very varied rates, a child may exceed the weight measurements for a safety seat but still meet the age and height requirements for a different seat. This can be quite confusing to parents trying to make the safest choice for their children.
Most experts agree that children at some point should be placed in a booster seat. This is a cushion that elevates the child so that airbags and seatbelts cannot harm the child in the event of an accident. Some booster seats also come with backrests and armrests. All models are strapped into the car with the car’s seat belt. However, there is a wide range of disagreement about how long a child should be placed in a booster seat. Georgia has a law requiring all children between the ages of four and eight to be placed in a booster seat while in a car. Some experts, however, argue that children do not fit correctly and safely into an adult seat belt until they are ten or even twelve years old.
An adult seat belt that fits correctly goes across the thighs. If a seatbelt cuts across the stomach, as it does on many children, and the car is involved in an Aventura car accident, the belt can cause internal injuries. The upper part of the seat belt should be positioned across cross the center of the wearer’s chest. For smaller adults and children, the seat belt cuts across the neck, potentially causing life-threatening injuries if the car is in an Aventura traffic accident. A booster seat raises a child so that the seat belt is positioned safely. Models with head rests and back rests also cushion the head and protect it in an accident. According to SafetyBeltSafe USA, correct booster seat use for a child who does not fit correctly into a seat with a seatbelt can help reduce childhood Aventura personal injuries by as much as 45 percent in the event of an accident.
Whatever your views about booster seats, if your child has been injured in an Aventura car accident, contact the Flaxman Law Group to arrange for a free, no-obligation consultation.