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Every Week Should be Child Passenger Safety Week

Feb 17, 2017 - Car Accidents by

Child Passenger Safety Week occurred last September. However, considering that road injuries are the leading cause of unintentional deaths to U.S. children, every week is important for paying attention to the younger passengers in any vehicle.

Any experienced Tuscaloosa auto injury lawyer would assert that a single auto accident case involving injured children is one too many. All drivers who are responsible for child safety need to regularly review the special precautions that help protect young passengers throughout the year.

Age and Size Make a Difference in Child Passenger Safety

As a general rule, safety devices are designed for use by children based on age group. However, age limitations may change when children are smaller or larger than the norm. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that children remain in the back seats of vehicles while offering the following guidelines based on age, but this advice does not replace the need to read the instructions and guidelines for any safety device:

  • Rear-facing car seats are generally appropriate for children from birth to age 2. Still, these seats can pose certain issues when the seat back starts creating issues for longer legs.
  • Forward-facing car seats are designed for use by children from the age of 2 until or even exceeding age 5. Regardless of age, these seats become inappropriate when a child no longer fits into them properly.
  • Booster seats are the next step until such time that children fit properly into a standard seat belt. As a general rule, booster seats are appropriate until a child is 57 inches tall.
  • Seat belts make sense for children who are 57 inches tall or more. However, it is still advisable to keep the kids in the back seat since they can become severely injured in the event that front airbags inflate during an accident.

Even Child Safety Devices Can Fail

The good news is that statistics show that the use of child restraints has improved significantly in recent decades, with the current rate reaching more than 90 percent. That said, however, defective devices are a possibility. In fact, even a restraint that operates properly can still be ineffective if it does not provide clear, easy-to-follow instructions.

Like any consumer product, child restraints can fail due to faulty manufacturing. In fact, drivers can easily secure children improperly when the device instructions are unclear. Before assuming responsibility for a child’s injuries, it is important to understand that the product manufacturer or other related parties may be at fault. For an accurate assessment of the circumstances and potential legal options, call a knowledgeable product liability attorney.

Additional Resources:

Child Passenger Safety, Safe Kids Worldwide

Other Blog topics

Child Stroller Injuries Prompt Efforts to Boost Safety, Birmingham Dangerous Products/Liability Blog

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