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Are You Adhering to Proper Child Passenger Safety Restraint Requirements?

Posted on in Driving Safety

Illinois car accident lawyer, Lake County car accident attorney, Illinois injury lawyer,The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that car accidents are a leading cause of death for children, with more than 600 fatalities taking place in 2014 in the United States alone. Additionally, more than 121,350 children were injured, and many of those injuries were due to lack of proper safety restraint usage. The fact remains: Those transporting child passengers have the power to save lives and prevent these types of incidences when they follow the right safety restraint protocol.

Car Seat, Booster Seat, or Seat Belt?

Whether you are a parent or caregiver, if you are responsible for driving a child to or from a destination, you first need to determine whether or not they require a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt. This depends on certain factors, including the child’s height, age, and weight. This information will help you transport them as safely as possible. Refer to the following guidelines before driving a child anywhere:

  • Use a car seat for newborns and children up to 5 years old.
  • For infants and children up to age 2, use a rear-facing car seat in the back seat of the vehicle. Follow the applicable height and weight limits of the particular seat, referring to the manual and labels as needed. A forward-facing car seat can be used for children between the ages of 2 and 5.
  • Use a booster seat for children 5 years of age, until they are ready for a regular seat belt.
  • Once children reach age 5, they should graduate to a belt positioning booster seat. You will know when the child is ready to move on from the booster to an actual seat belt when the belt lays comfortably across the upper thighs and not the stomach, and when the shoulder belt sits intact across the chest, not across the neck. According to the CDC, the recommended height for a seat belt is 57 inches tall.
  • All children aged 12 and younger should be buckled up in the back seat. Due to the danger of airbags, the back seat is always the safest place for children, specifically the middle, which is the safest spot in the vehicle.

As a child’s brain and body develop, certain bones and organs are at greater risk of injury due to the distribution of crash forces and the impact they can have on each part of the body, which is a big reason these requirements are so crucial.

On top of following these important guidelines, you can also lead by example by wearing your own seat belt each and every time you drive, no matter how short the commute may be. If you find yourself in a car accident at any point in time, speak to a knowledgeable Lake County car accident attorney right away to ensure your rights - and the rights of any child passenger you were travelling with - are protected in a court of law. Call Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. at 847-662-3303 immediately for a personal consultation.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/features/passengersafety/index.html

https://www.cdc.gov/injury/

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