Each time you put your child in a motor vehicle, your top priority should be protecting your child in the car. While you can control what you do while on our highways and roads, you cannot control other drivers, the environment, and the weather. The steps that you take before you leave your home can reduce or prevent a serious injury in the event of a motor vehicle accident.
Choosing the Right Car Seat
According to SafeCar (NHTSA), choose a car seat based on your child’s age and size that also fits in your vehicle. SafeCar provides an interactive form to help you choose the right car seat for your child. Enter your child’s date of birth, weight, and height. You receive a response with the type of car seat to use for your child. You also have a list of car seats with ratings and reviews.
Briefly, the NHTSA recommends:
- Children from birth to 12 months should remain in a rear facing car seat. You should continue using a rear facing car seat until the age of 3 or your child exceeds the maximum height or weight for rear facing car seats.
- After your child exceeds the maximum height or weight for a rear facing car seat, place your child in a forward facing car seat. It is recommended that you use a forward facing car seat until your child exceeds the maximum height or weight for the car seat or your child outgrows the harness.
- Children who have outgrown a car seat should ride in a booster seat until 12 years of age or he or she outgrows the booster seat. At that time, children should use seat belts in the back seat of the vehicle.
Children should ride in the back seat in the appropriate child safety seat every time they are in a vehicle to reduce the risk of serious injury in a vehicle accident.
For more information about choosing the right car seat, visit SafeCar’s car seat website.
Other Tips for Protecting Your Child Safe in the Car
Other safety tips for protecting your child in the car include:
- Your child should ride in the back seat at least until he or she is a teenager. This is typically the safest place for a child in the event of a car accident.
- Always wear your seatbelt as a good example for your child. Check to ensure your child is properly secured each time you are in the vehicle.
- Limit the amount of items in the car that are not secured. Items can fly around in a vehicle during a collision causing addition injuries.
- Never hold an infant or a baby while riding in a vehicle. If you must tend to the child, pull over to a safe location before unbuckling the child.
- Never share seat belts (use one seat belt for two or more children).
- Children should never ride in the bed of a truck or in the cargo area of a van or SUV.
- Never leave your child in a car for even a minute or two. The temperature in a car can quickly increase to dangerous levels.
For more information about protecting your child in the car, see “Keeping Our Kids Safe” by the NHTSA.
Has Your Child Been Injured in a Car Accident?
If so, you need a New Orleans car accident attorney who understands how to protect your child’s right to receive a full settlement for his or her injuries.
Call The Olinde Firm at (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to schedule a free legal consultation with an experienced NoLA car accident attorney.