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National Transportation Safety Board’s New Recommendations for Child Safety Seats

This Child Safety Article was written by Sam Bernstein. This Article was approved by Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney, David Slepkow 401-437-1100.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, motor vehicle crashes account for 1 in every 3 injury deaths among children younger than 13, while it is the leading cause of death for those between 2-12 years of age.

On average, 1,800 children ages 14 and under are killed as occupants in motor vehicles, and more than 280,000 are injured per year. Most of these deaths occur among children traveling as passenger vehicle occupants, and proper restraint use can reduce these fatalities.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently changed their recommendation for keeping toddler car seats rear facing. The previous recommendation was for infants 12 months old and at least 20 pounds before riding forward facing in a car seat.

New research proves toddlers are 5 times safer when riding rear facing until the age of 2 – the new recommended age. Placing children in rear seats instead of front seats reduces fatal injury risk by about a third among those 12 and younger.

The National Transportation Safety Board recommends that parents use the correct child restraint system for their child’s age and size. The following can help prevent an injury or death in the case of a motor vehicle accident:

  1. Keep your child in a rear-facing seat until your child is at least 1 year old and at least 20 pounds. New recommendations suggest that children are much safer when rear-facing up until the age of 2.
  2. Use a harnessed forward-facing seat after your child has outgrown their rear-facing seat.  The NTSB recommends your child should stay in this seat until they reach a weight of 40 pounds, or their ears reach the top of the seat.
  3. Use a booster seat when your child has outgrown the forward-facing seat.  Since seat models vary, be sure to check the height and weight limits for the seat you own.  Your child needs to use a booster seat from about 4 to 8 years old or until your child reaches about 4 feet, 9 inches.
  4. Keep your child in a booster seat until the adult lap-and-shoulder belt fits properly.  The seat belt should lie across the chest between the neck and arm and the lap belt must be across the upper thighs, not the soft stomach.
  5. An adult lap-and-shoulder belt can be used when your child is tall enough (usually about 4 feet, 9 inches) to sit against the back of the car’s seat with their legs bent at the knees with their feet hanging down.

“Parents travelling with small children need to take extra precautions to keep their little ones safe,” said attorney Mark Bernstein of the Sam Bernstein Law Firm. “The first step is knowing the proper ages, weights and heights for different child safety seats.”

If your child or someone you love was seriously injured in a Michigan auto accident, talk with an experienced Michigan car accident lawyer to learn more about your rights.

Sam BernsteinAbout the Author:
Our team of extraordinary Michigan accident lawyers at the Sam Bernstein Law Firm has a combined total of over 250 years of legal experience protecting the legal rights of Michigan accident victims.

Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.


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