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