Car Seat Safety
Often times we’re carrying precious cargo when we’re driving so it is important to protect them in all possible ways. Babies have a higher risk of being injured in car accidents than adults. A baby’s head and spine are developing and are sensitive parts of their bodies. In order to protect both the head and spine, one of the most important ways to keep your child safe is to have your car seat facing the rear of the car. When the seat faces forward, the spinal cord may stretch in the chance of an accident. Any impact on the spine can cause serious damage, or even death. When a child faces the rear, the car seat serves as a protective pillow and the car seat cradles the head, spine, and neck. This is the safest way to protect your child in a frontal car crash, the most common type of crash.
To ensure your baby or infant is safe, it is important to follow car seat safety guidelines.
Face the rear.
A baby’s car seat should face the rear until they are 2 years of age, or they have reached the weight and height limit allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer.
Stay in the back.
A child should always remain facing the rear in the back seat of the car. Placing them in the front is a great risk. In the event of an accident, the air bag can fatally injure your child.
Not too loose, not too tight.
The car seat’s shoulder straps should be at or below the baby’s shoulders. The harness slots are adjustable, and should be adjusted accordingly. The harness should be snug enough that the harness material cannot be pinched or bundled. The straps should lie flat without twisting, and the chest clip should be at armpit level.
Do not dress or cover your baby in a puffy coat or blanket. This interferes with the tightness of the straps. Instead, cover the baby with a blanket over the car seat. Dress the baby accordingly in the car before going outside.
When your baby does not have an inch between the top of their head, and the top of the car seat, it is time to upgrade from a rear-facing car seat to a forward-facing seat. When they outgrow the forward-facing seat according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, they can upgrade to a booster seat.
Protecting your baby is one of the most important jobs for a parent. If you have been involved in a car accident with your infant, and your infant is injured, it is important to seek professional legal representation. Protect your baby and their rights with the help of the Horwitz Law Group. Call today for a free consultation (312) 641-9200.