Child car safety seats are a great and necessary way to protect young or small children from injuries caused by car accidents. Simply putting a child into a safety seat and expecting the best is not enough, however. Parents need to pay close attention to harnesses, seat size, child weight, and more to properly secure their little ones. Otherwise, the seat may afford them little to no protection in a collision.
Review this list of five mistakes parents commonly make when putting their children into a child safety seat if you have a little one of your own:
- Loose seat: The seat itself should not be able to wiggle more than an inch in any direction after being strapped down with the car’s seatbelt. If it does, simply press your weight against the seat when first installing it and strap it in as tightly as possible. It is a real quick fix that many parents miss.
- Loose harness: You should not be able to pinch any length of a harness’s fabric together after it is secured over your child. If you can, it is too loose and your child may be ejected from the seat in a collision. Always tighten harnesses so they have no slack whatsoever.
- Forward-facing infants: Children under the age of 2 should rarely ever be faced forward in an automobile. The only time it is time to use a forward-facing seat is once a child reaches both the weight and height capacity of their seat.
- Misplaced retainer clips: Always ensure that the retainer clip is resting at armpit level to keep the straps from slipping off a child’s shoulders in an impact. You probably need to move retainer clips each time you put your child in or take your child out of the safety seat. Keep this in mind and double-check each time before you go anywhere.
- No booster seat: Children under 80 pounds but over 40 pounds require a booster seat to be securing strapped in by seatbelts. The same can be said for any child under 4 feet 8 inches in height. Many parents assume that booster seat requirements are based on age, not weight or height, and take away the booster seat far too soon.
Despite the clear importance of protecting children from harm, child safety seats are recalled regularly. If your child has been injured even when you used a child safety seat correctly and followed all safety guidelines, it is likely that a defective product is to blame. Contact The Gilbert Law Group® and talk to our auto defect lawyers about what happened. Although our offices are based in Denver, Colorado, we are able to provide representation to clients all around the country.