How to Keep Your Child Safe While Riding in a Car
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 59% of car seats are either used, installed, or secured incorrectly. It may seem to you that car seats should be easy to install, but a statistic like this shows that they are not as easy as one may believe. Another issue is that it becomes easy to start being lazy with the process, especially if you find that you are moving a car seat from one car to another frequently. However, an improperly secured or fitted car seat is essentially like not using a car seat at all, which can have fatal consequences in a car accident.
The Basics of Installing a Car Seat Properly
To understand how to install a car seat in your car or someone else’s, you need to remember that vehicles are equipped with lower anchors and tether anchors. As a parent, you should learn how to locate these in different types of vehicles that you might use or that your child may ride in. Rear-facing car seats typically use lower anchors only, according to The Car Seat Lady, while front facing car seats use the lower anchors and the tether anchor.
Purchasing a Car Seat
You must select a seat that is right for your child based on published guidelines. Rear-facing seats should be used for younger children and front facing or booster seats are acceptable for older children. It is important to do your research before you buy. Remember to look into the manufacturer’s history and the model of car seat. You can find reviews online and information about recalls.
However, do not buy a used seat or take one from someone you do not know well. Generally speaking, if someone has been in an accident with a child in a car seat, the car seat needs to be replaced or inspected by someone at your local fire department or car dealership. Moreover, all car seats have an expiration date. So, if you have a number of children and continue to use car seats or have a used one from a family member of friend, make sure to check the date.
Register With the Manufacturer After Purchasing a Car Seat
Diono, a company that manufactures car seats, is doing the right thing. They found a defect in their design; the belt that secures the child at the child’s chest had no padding, according to Click2Houston. The NHTSA has warned that securing a child with only a belt can result in chest injuries during an accident. This is evidence of why parents should always register with the manufacturer after purchasing a car seat.
Defective Car Seats
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a good resource for parents. The administration reports on child car seat tests performed by third parties. Graco, a company that manufactures car seats, had a number of models tested recently, and the harness strapping failed in a crash test. The NHTSA published the results and the manufacturer recalled 25,000 car seats, urging parents to get replacement straps.
A Houston Lawyer is Here to Help
Whether you were injured in a car accident, your child was injured, or you have questions regarding the proper use and installation of a car seat, an attorney is here to help. The Houston law offices of Michael P. Fleming & Associates can be reached today for a free consultation.
The Car Seat Lady, Car Seat Basics
Click2Houston, Car Seat Recall