Properly restraining your children in the car is important

According to a new report in the Journal of Pediatrics, up to "43 Percent Of Kids Killed In Car Crashes Aren’t Properly Restrained." Some estimate as many as 95% of families install their newborn's car seats improperly. 75% of families face their childrens' car seats the wrong way, and many older kids aren't using booster seats as recommended.

The report from The Journal of Pediatrics presented several factors that may increase the likelihood of the death of a child in a motor vehicle accident in the US based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The report looked at 18,116 kids under 15 involved in fatal crashes from 2010 to 2014. Of those 18,116 kids, nearly 16% of them died in that crash. 43% of those kids who died in the accident were improperly restrained, or even worse, not restrained at all. 13% of those kids who died were improperly seated in the front seat.

There were major regional differences. 52% of the children involved in fatal crashes were from the south, 19% in the midwest, 7.5% in the Northeast, and 21% in the west.

Car seat laws in California that help prevent injuries in car crashes

In 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics recommended toddlers stay rear-facing until the age of 2, or until they exceed the height and weight limit for their seat.

In California:

  • Children under 2 years of age shall ride in a rear-facing car seat unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds OR is 40 or more inches tall.
  • The child shall be secured in a manner that complies with the height and weight limits specified by the manufacturer of the car seat.
  • ​Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat.
  • Children who are 8 years of age OR have reached 4’9” in height must be secured by a safety belt.
  • Passengers who are 16 years of age and over are subject to California's Mandatory Seat Belt law.

Use Booster Seats To Help Prevent Injury To Children in Car Accidents

When should you move your child to a booster seat? There is no specific law on graduating children from a car seat to a booster seat. It is recommended you wait as long as possible to do so.

According to the CHP, your children is ready for a booster seat when they outgrow their forward facing car seat, typically between 40-65 pounds. Read your car seat manual to determine the weight and height limits, but keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible.

Safety belts are designed for 165 lb male adults, so they are not properly fitted for your child. The booster seat helps position the children higher, but also the seat belt lower. It is important to use a booster seat when your child outgrows their car seat.

San Diego, CA Child Injury and Death Lawyer

In the United States, unintentional injury is the most common cause of pediatric death, and motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury. If your child is injured in an accident, give our office a call right now, or fill out our online contact form.

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