Infant Car Seats Responsible for Thousands of Injuries When Used Outside Motor Vehicles, Says New Study

Our child seat defect lawyers have handled many cases involving injuries to children and babies who were seated in defective car seats that malfunctioned during motor vehicle crashes. Now, a new study is reporting that infant car seats are involved in thousands of injuries that occur when the safety device is used outside a motor vehicle.
It is indisputable that child car safety seats are necessary and have saved thousands of lives during motor vehicle crashes—that is, as long as the safety device isn’t defective or didn’t malfunction. However, many car seats are also used as handheld baby carriers or can be strapped into a stroller. While this way of traveling and carrying a child may seem convenient and efficient, it isn’t always safe.
According to Shital Parikh, the study’s author and a pediatric orthopedist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, over 43,000 infants in this country who ended up in emergency rooms between 2003 and 2007 got hurt when they fell from child car safety seats that were placed on counters, tables, and other elevated locations. Fall accidents also occurred when the car seats rolled over after they were placed on sofas, beds, and other soft surfaces (increasing the risk of suffocation) or when babies, left unrestrained in the seats, made movements that caused the safety device to fall or tilt over.
Head injuries, fractures, and dislocations were the most common injuries resulting from falls from child safety seats. Three babies died from their injuries.
Per the study, which was based on information from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, 62% of infants injured were younger than 4 months. 8% were hospitalized. Approximately 50% of accidents took place at home.
Parikh is recommending that a child only be placed in an infant car seat when he or she is seated in the vehicle. Otherwise, the baby should be removed from the safety device. Some physical therapists have also raised concerns that babies may be suffering from “container syndrome” caused by too much time on their backs.
Parikh is calling on car seat makers to include warnings about the dangers that can arise when the products are used incorrectly. He also wants them to let parents and guardians know exactly how the child car safety seats should be used. He thinks that car seat manufacturers should design more child car seats.
While there are steps that you can take to make sure that you’ve purchased the right seat for your child and the vehicle and that the safety device is properly assembled and your son or daughter is properly secured, unfortunately there are many child car safety seats that are designed defectively and can cause more harm than good during a catastrophic car crash.
Contact our auto products liability lawyers today about your injuries to children case.
Car seats can be dangerous outside the car, USA Today, October 19, 2009
Babies Injured in Car Seats Used Outside of Cars, AJC, October 20, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Child Passenger Safety, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
American Academy of Pediatrics
Crash Survivor Network

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