According to Today.com, having a child wear a bulky winter coat while seated in a car seat can be dangerous. The reason for this is that the heavy clothing can create too much space between the harness and the child’s body. Tom Sargent Safety Center at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital medical director Dr. Benjamin Hoffman says that this gives a child more room to be “thrust forward” in a crash.
Dr. Hoffman says that kids in car seats shouldn’t wear more than what they would be using indoors and that they are supposed to be “attached tightly” to child safety seats. Ideally, per “the pinch test,” there should be no excess webbing between the strap and the collarbone when you pinch the car seat harness with your index finger and thumb.
At The Gilbert Law Group, our car seat lawyers represent the families of children who sustained serious injuries because of defective or malfunctioning car seats that failed to protects its occupants during a car crash. To give you a sense of how important it is that a child use a properly working car seat, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in September that over one third of kids who died in passenger vehicle crashes in 2011 were not using car seats or seat belts and that between 1975 through 2011, about 10,000 lives were saved during traffic crashes because of proper child restraints.
That said, just because a child is wearing a car seat doesn’t mean it can prevent injuries if it is defective, malfunctions, or is not a proper fit for your child. NHTSA offers the following safety suggestions:
• Make sure the car seat is appropriate for your child’s size and age
• Follow labels and instructions to make sure the car seat is installed correctly.
• Ask a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician at a local car seat inspection station to check the seat.
• Go to SaferCar.gov and register your car seat or booster seat online to receive any recall notices.
Unfortunately, there can be problems with a car seat that are the fault of the manufacturer, designer, retailer, or supplier, including harness flaws, poor construction, base/shell defects, failure to meet safety requirements, car seat malfunction, flammable materials, defective buckles, weak chest clips, faulty carrier handles, poor padding, a defective base unit, and others. Reasons for pursuing a car seat injury claims can include creating a defect in the product, failure to identify the defect, failure to properly inspect or test car seats after manufacturer, inadequate instructions, and failure to warn of the dangers and risks.
You want to work with a child injury law firm that has the experience and resources to go up against the parties responsible for the car seat defect and knows how to build a solid products liability case on your behalf. Contact The Gilbert Law Group today.