If you’re a parent then chances are you’ve struggled to strap a screaming baby into a car seat, or wished for patience while a willful toddler insists on “doing it themselves” when it comes time to get all the safety harnesses snapped into place. (And the more they fight to do it without help always seems directly proportional to how late you are for an appointment!). Car seats are a part of our daily reality as parents of young children. They make transporting our little loved ones much safer, but they also pose a number of challenges. One of which is making sure you’re using and installing them the right way.
Using car seats properly use can save lives!
Child Passenger Safety Week is a national initiative that lasts from September 15th to the 21st, with the goal of raising awareness about car seat use. The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning is using this opportunity to reach out to parents all over the state, and encourage them to consider the importance of proper car seat use. Making sure that your child has the right car seat for their age and size, making sure that the car seat you’re using is up to date, and that it’s properly installed in your vehicle all go a long way towards keeping Michigan’s children safe.
You wouldn’t believe how many car seats are misused!
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly half of the car seats in use today are actually being misused. That means they’re improperly installed, the children in them aren’t being properly strapped in, or the seat itself is the wrong kind for the child using it. The goal, according to OHSP and NHTSA, is to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries among children involved in car crashes.
Car crashes kill more kids than anything else in the US.
Michael L. Prince, the director of OHSP, says that the leading cause of death for children in the U.S. is car crashes. “Tweens, age 8 to 14, are most at risk for injury or death in a crash,” he explains. “Children need to be buckled up every trip, every time. Parents and caregivers must know the best options and have the right resources when choosing a car seat or booster seat.”
What does the law say about which kid should use what car seat?
- Infants aged birth to 2 years should ride in a rear-facing car seat (unless they reach the upper height and/or weight limit for that type of seat before they turn 2.)
- Children aged 2 to 5 (including children who are younger than 2 but have outgrown their infant car seats) should ride in forward-facing car seats.
- From age 5 until a child reaches 4’9″ tall, they should use a booster seat.
Not using a car seat properly can result in allegations of child neglect.
There have been many cases over the years where parents have faced charges for allegations of neglect because their children weren’t in the right car seats, or weren’t properly strapped in. Having to fight for your right to keep your kids because you screwed up your car seat installation would be terrible. So take the opportunity this week to have your children’s car seats inspected by a certified Child Passenger Safety technician. But if you’re already fighting that battle, call our skilled child abuse defense attorneys at 866 766 5245 today and get the right help!