Seven out of ten kids in child safety seats are not properly restrained, which means they are at an increased risk of being injured in a motor vehicle accident.
When car seats are used properly, they can reduce the risk of an infant death by more than 70 percent, and by more than 50 percent for toddlers.
In Louisiana, children up to one year of age and less than 20 pounds are required, by law, to be in rear-facing infant seats or convertible seats. Children between the ages of one and four, between 20 and 40 pounds, must ride in a forward facing convertible or combination seat with an internal harness.
After the age of five, smaller children should ride in a booster seat until they are tall enough to be buckled in with a seatbelt safely. After outgrowing the booster seat, children under the age of 12 should use a seatbelt and ride in the backseat.
Below are some further safety tips for car seat installation:
- Infant carriers should only be placed in the rear-facing position in a vehicle
- Convertible child seats can be rather rear or forward facing
- Never place a rear-facing infant seat in the front passenger seat
- Old/used child safety seats should not be used unless you are certain they have never been in a crash
- Seats that are more than six years old should be discarded
- The center rear seating position may be the safest position as it is the furthest from impact and intrusion from any direction
- After buckling your child in, double check that the seat is secure
Always read the instructions of a child seat and make sure you know what the height and weight limits are for each seat. Furthermore, parents should register any new child seats they purchase as it is the best way to ensure that if the seat is recalled, you are notified.
Several child safety seat inspection stations can be found in the Baton Rouge area. Parents can make an appointment to get their child’s safety seat inspected as well as get information on how to properly and safely install the seat into the vehicle.
The attorneys at Simien & Simien understand that safety defects and manufacturing errors have led the millions of car seat recalls in the past. If your loved one was injured while seated in a defective car seat during an accident, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim.