According to Dr. Karen Judy, and associate professor of pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago School of Medicine, seven (7) our of ten (10) child safety seats are improperly installed. Improper installation, she says, is the leading reason car accidents cause disability and deaths among children. “If your child weighs less than 80 pounds and is shorter than 57 inches, a seat belt will lay across the child’s neck and belly. In the event of an accident this puts pressure on sensitive areas with the potential for serious injuries, including spinal cord and abdominal injuries or even death. No matter how short the trip, if your child is in the car, he or she should be in a child safety seat,” Judy said in a Health Day news release.
Dr. Judy providing the following tips on how to properly install child safety seats and how properly secure your child:
Use the correct type of car seat for a child’s age, height and weight. Most infant safety seats only hold up to 22 pounds and should always be used in a rear-facing position. Children in car seats should not face forward until they are older than 1 year and weigh more than 20 pounds. Children should continue using forward-facing car seats until they are older than age 4 years, or weigh more than 40 pounds.
Children aged 4 to 8 years should use a booster seat and continue to do so until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches or taller, regardless of their age.
Children younger than 13 years of age should not sit in the front seat because they could be crushed by air bags if they deploy.
Read the instructions that came with the car seat as well as your vehicle owner’s manual thoroughly before installing the safety seat in the car. Have a professional check to ensure the seat is installed correctly. Your local police station should have information on safety seat inspection sites in your area.
Never install a safety seat in the front seat of a car.
When a child is in a safety seat, the harness should be level with the shoulders and the straps should be secure and tight.
If possible, don’t use a secondhand car seat. If you do, make certain it’s never been in an accident and has all the parts, including instructions. Never use a car seat that’s six or more years old.
These are simple steps that can possibly save your child’s life and prevent serious injury.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a serious Chicago car accident or Chicago trucking accident , then call Chicago car accident attorney Aaron Bryant for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the law firm website at www.BLGCHICAGO.com