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Car Seat Safety Tips

The most tragic deaths are preventable – deaths that would not have happened were it not for the carelessness or negligence of someone else. As a parent, it may be impossible to imagine yourself as the negligent party in your child’s injury…or worse. While you can’t always control the outcome of a car accident, there are ways you can greatly improve your child’s safety and decrease the risk of serious injuries. Our San Jose car accident attorneys suggest the following tips:

Use a Car Seat or Booster Seat Every Ride

In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that more than 618,000 children in the U.S. rode without the use of the proper safety seat or belt at least some of the time. The same year, 35% of children under the age of 12 who died in car accidents were unrestrained. There are no exceptions to using a car seat or booster seat while your child is in the car. It does not matter how short or how far your trip is – you must properly secure your child in the appropriate seat and with a seat belt on each and every drive. The proper safety gear can save your child’s life.

Properly Install Your Car Seat

Some parents use a car seat religiously every ride, but don’t realize it’s incorrectly installed. A poorly installed safety device will do little good in the event of a crash. Carefully read the instructions that come with your car seat. Avoid purchasing used car seats, as they might not come with instructions and they could be outdated, using older technology or systems that the company has now recalled. Keep child seats in the back seat, not the front passenger seat. Reference your vehicle owner’s manual, and secure the seat tightly in place.

Don’t Transition Your Child Too Early

Another cardinal mistake that many parents make is graduating their children to the next level of safety seat too early. Many parents don’t realize just how long children must stay in car seats and booster seats before eventually only using a seat belt. Transitioning your child before he or she meets the height or weight requirements can be a fatal error. Here’s an overview of which safety seat applies when:

If you need assistance purchasing, installing, or placing your child in a car seat or booster seat, check to see if your community hosts car seat check events near you. Simply Google search, “Car seat inspection near me,” and it should come up with options in your community. When it comes to transporting your child, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.