Have proper child restraints when traveling with infants
Health & Beauty
July 21, 2006
Have proper child restraints when traveling with infants

The importance of the proper use of child safety seats has been demonstrated repeatedly in tests and accident reports.

Infants and young children without appropriate child restraints can be severely injured in auto accidents. Hitting the interior of the vehicle or being ejected can result in serious injury or death. The standard seat belt and seat back configuration for most vehicles is designed for an adult and may actually do more harm than good.{{more}} In front impact collisions, a child may slide down and forward in the seat, potentially causing injuries to the neck or head. In rear end accidents, a child may slide up and backwards out of adult restraints and be ejected out the back of the vehicle. For these reasons and more, it is essential to use child car seats.

A child safety seat can come in various sizes and configurations. An infant car seat (for a baby less than one year old or less than twenty pounds) should always be placed in the back seat, facing the rear. The child restraints built into the seat should be snug enough that an adult can only fit one finger between the baby and harness. Rear-facing car seats should never be placed in front of an activated airbag.

If deployed, an airbag could hit a child safety seat with sufficient force to cause injury. Children between 20 and 40 pounds can be placed in child safety seats that face forward, however, they should remain in the back seat properly situated and restrained according to the car seat instructions. Until a youngster is at least 8 years old (unless 4’9″ or taller), a belt positioning booster seat should be used to raise the child up so that the adult seat belt restraints fit properly. Children should still remain in the back of the car, even when using appropriate car booster seats.

Despite purchasing and using the proper child safety seat for your child, it is still possible that your child may be injured due to a defective child car seat. Literally millions of child safety seats have been recalled due to defects in the instructions, cushions, and built-in child restraints. Of those child car seats that were recalled, only a fraction were actually replaced or repaired. Whether from a child car seat or a car booster seat, if your child was injured due to a defective product, get legal advice immediately.