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Child Car Seats Save Lives of Babies and Young Children, Confirms New Study

A new study appearing in the February 2009 issue of the American Journal of Public Health reports that securing small children and infants in the proper child car safety seats could save their lives. According to the study’s authors, use of child safety restraints dramatically lowers the chances that a child, three years of age or younger, will die in a serious traffic accident.
The study found that the odds of a baby dying in an auto crash dropped by 75% with use of a child safety seat, while the mortality rate for older children dropped by 60%. These findings are important considering that motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of accidental deaths among kids older than 1.

The new study also reported that child safety seats helped prevent deaths in rollover accidents, as well as in collisions involving light trucks. The report, however, was quick to emphasize that while securing 2- and 3-year-olds in seat belts proved just as effective at preventing deaths as placing these young children in child car safety seats, the latter is still better at protecting small children from serious injuries.
Choosing the Right Child Car Seat
While it is important to use an age appropriate child car safety seat for your son or daughter, not all child safety seats are the made same in terms of quality and the kinds of safety features that they offer. The American Academy of Pediatrics Web site offers a number of suggestions for helping you ensure that you are picking the best product for your child, including:

  • The best seat for your son or daughter is the one that is age and size appropriate, properly installed, and used correctly.
  • Make sure that your child does not use the seat beyond the manufacturer’s recommended date for length of use.
  • Make sure there are no visible flaws on the child safety seat and that none of its parts are missing.
  • Check the car safety seat’s model number and manufacture date to make sure the product hasn’t been recalled.
  • If the car safety seat is one that has been used in the past, make sure it was never involved in a moderate or serious auto accident.

It is also important to pay attention to product recalls that can occur in the event that the particular child car safety seat you have chosen proves defective and the flaw needs to be fixed or the seat replaced. If your son or daughter sustained an injury in a car accident because of a defective child car seat, you may have grounds for filing a products liability lawsuit to sue for damages.
Car Seats Save Young Lives, Washington Post, January 21, 2009
Car Safety Seats: A Guide for Families 2009, AAP.org
Related Web Resources:
American Journal of Public Health
Car Seats, ConsumerReports.org

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