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Top Tips from Child Passenger Safety Week

Child Passenger Safety Week took place last month. The national campaign highlighted the importance of verifying that children are properly buckled up in the correct car seat for their size and age.

Given that car seats and safety belts are the best ways to prevent children from being seriously injured in a San Diego car crash, we want to highlight some of the important information shared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

To start, the NHTSA 2015 National Survey of the Use of Booster Seats revealed that 37.4 percent of children ages 4 to 7 in the United States were not being properly restrained. Of that number, 25.8 percent were restrained by seat belts and 11.6 percent were unrestrained. In addition, the survey showed that 13.6 percent of children from 1 to 3 years old were prematurely transitioned to booster seats, a significant increase from the prior year.

In light of the survey findings, below are several specific tips for selecting the right car seat:

  • Choose a seat that fits in your vehicle, and use it every time.
  • Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size.
  • Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions (check height and weight limits) and read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or lower anchors and a tether, if available.
  • To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
  • Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.

It is also important to register your car seat, so that you will be alerted in the event of a product safety recall. In addition to registering your car seat, consumers can also sign up to receive e-mail alerts about car seat and booster seat recalls from NHTSA.

If your child or someone you care about has suffered serious harm due to a recalled or otherwise defective car seat or other children’s product, you may be entitled to compensation. To discuss your legal rights, contact a San Diego product liability lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.