Putting your child in a car seat may seem simple enough, but there are several safety checks parents should always conduct before hitting the road. According to Parents, 80 percent of car seats are not installed or used properly.
Researchers have found that guardians make an average of three mistakes when bucking children in, and making even just one mistake can have fatal consequences in the event of a collision. Fortunately, it is fairly easy to avoid the most common car seat mistakes. All it takes is a little research and attentiveness.
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It is important to remember that car seats are not foolproof, though, and even children in perfectly installed seats can sustain serious injuries in an accident. If your child was hurt in a crash that was not your fault and you want to hold the liable party accountable, contact Laborde Earles Law Firm.
A Lafayette auto accident attorney will evaluate your case, gather evidence, calculate possible damages, and negotiate for a fair settlement on your behalf. Additionally, if your case goes to trial, we have the litigation experience and resources to represent your interests in court. Schedule a free consultation by calling (337) 777-7777.
Read on to learn about some of the most common car seat mistakes parents and guardians make:
- Failing to Tighten the Seat Belt
Grip your child’s car seat at the base with both hands and tug. If you can move it more than 1 inch in any direction, it is too loose.
Children riding in car seats that have not been properly installed are more likely to hit the backs of the seats in front of them in the event of a collision. You can protect your child from a serious head injury by tightening the safety restraint that holds the car seat in place and then locking it. This is the key step that many parents miss.
- Failing to Tighten the Harness Straps
The harness that actually holds your child down in the seat should be snug with no slack. If you can pinch the straps between your fingers, it is too loose and will not do its job in the event of a collision.
- Failing to Use a Booster Seat
Children who grow out of their car seat need to use a booster seat until they are big enough for the standard seat belt to fit properly. Kids who weigh less than 80 pounds or are shorter than 4’9’’ should always use a booster seat.
- Adding Aftermarket Padding
Car seats contain padding and support in strategic places in order to provide optimum protection. You may be tempted to add extra neck or head support, but aftermarket products that were not crash-tested with the seat can inhibit its effectiveness at preventing injuries.
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Sadly, parents can install a car set perfectly and strap in their children correctly and still end up in a collision that causes serious injuries. If someone in your family was hurt in a preventable crash, contact Laborde Earles Law Firm to find out if you have grounds for a claim. Call (337) 777-7777 to schedule a free case evaluation with an accident lawyer in Lafayette.