September 18-24 has been designated National Child Passenger Safety Week.
Is your child safe in his car seat? You may be a surprised. A recent study
has found that many car seats are not properly installed.
Last week, Safe Kids USA released the results of a study based on data
from 79,000 child safety seat inspections that occurred over a one year
period. The study, the largest of its kind, looked at whether children
were using the appropriate seat for their size and age and whether the
seat was properly installed.
Is your child in the right car seat?
According to the study, parents are doing a better job keeping children
rear-facing until the age of two. Yet, many older children showed up at
car seat checkpoints in the wrong seat for their age and size - or in
no seat at all. Lack of a safety seat was a significant problem for children
ages seven and eight, who should have been in booster seats. Florida car
seat law only requires that children under three be restrained in car
seats; however, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National
Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommend that children
use a booster seat until they are four feet nine inches tall.
Learn which safety seat your child should be in in
West Palm Beach car crash lawyer Craig Goldenfarb's article, "Florida Car Seat Law: What You Need to Know to Keep Your Child Safe."
Is your car seat properly installed?
The biggest safety concern noted by the study was that that less than
one-third of forward facing safety seats were installed using a top tether.
When a top tether was used, it was used correctly only 59% of the time.
The top tether helps keep the seat securely in place and provides extra
protection in the event of a West Palm Beach auto accident by reducing
the forward movement of the seat and the child's head. The top tether
is part of the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tether for Children) system. It
looks like a long seatbelt strap that is attached to the top part of the
car seat. A hook on the strap attaches to an anchor on the vehicle. The
anchor for front-facing installation is usually located on the floor behind
the seat or on the back of the seat. If you can't find the tether
anchor, check your vehicle's instruction manual.
LATCH anchors should not be used for children who weigh more than 48 pounds.
Get your car seat checked!
Car accidents are the leading cause of death for children age 3-14. A
properly installed safety seat or booster seat can reduce a child's
risk of death or serious injury in a West Palm Beach car wreck by up to
Installing a car seat can be difficult, as many instruction manuals are
confusing or unclear. But parents can get help. Many local fire departments
have free car seat checks. The seat check takes just a few minutes, and
the technician will show you how to install your car seat so it offers
the best protection for your child. Call the fire department nearest you
to schedule an appointment.
West Palm Beach car crash lawyer Craig Goldenfarb helps children who are
injured in car accidents
Was your child injured in a West Palm Beach car accident? You may be entitled
to receive compensation for your child's injuries - even if your child
wasn't in a safety seat. To discuss your child's Florida accident
claim, contact the law offices of Craig Goldenfarb at (561) 600-5605 and
ask to schedule a FREE consultation with a West Palm Beach car crash lawyer.