Child Passenger Safety Week – September 2016
September 18th, 2016 marks the first day of Child Passenger Safety Week 2016. This annual campaign is run by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and is meant to educate parents, caregivers, and guardians about the right way to secure children and teens in vehicles.
According to NHTSA studies, car accidents are among the top causes of death for children between the ages 1 and 13. It was concluded that roughly 33% of all children who lose their lives in a car accident – or about 220 each year – were not restrained at all, and an unknown number were in the wrong type of restraints. This statistic is heartbreaking, especially since the proper safety restraints have a 54 to 71% chance of preventing serious injury in a collision, also according to NHTSA studies.
Choosing the Right Safety Seat for Your Child
Most parents will admit that they do not know the safety guidelines for seating and restraining children in vehicles. This general lack of knowledge throughout the adult population is exactly the reason Child Passenger Safety Week exists. Please take a moment now to review the following proper seating and restraint guidelines for children, and share them with friends, family, and coworkers who should also know this information.
- Newborn to 12-months: Any child under 1 year of age should always be seated in a rear-facing car seat placed in the backseat. Ensure the restraints on the car seat are snug and prevent the infant from sliding up and out of them during movement.
- 1 to 3 years: A child should be kept in a rear-facing car seat until they exceed the weight limit of the car seat or they are too tall to be seated comfortably. Generally, a child will not outgrow a rear-facing car seat until they are around 3 years old.
- 4 to 7 years: Children who are too big for a rear-facing car seat are ready to be seated in a forward-facing car seat. You can expect a child to likely fit into a forward-facing car seat until they are about 7 years old, but always check their height and the seat’s weight limit before seating them.
- 8 to 12 years: A child who is too large for a forward-facing car seat but too small to properly fill an adult car seat should be given a booster seat. You will know that your child is large enough for sit without a booster seat when the seatbelt fits snuggly over their upper thighs and the shoulder belt is comfortably tight over their shoulder and chest – it should not be on their face, neck, or stomach.
General safety rule: Do not allow any child to sit in the front seat until they are 13 or older, regardless of their size, weight, or maturity.
For more information about child passenger safety, you should visit the NHTSA website and the TSM website. If you or your child were hurt in a car accident that a reckless driver caused, you can contact Lenahan Law Firm and our Dallas personal injury attorneys for legal counsel.