While we tend to think of them as resilient, children are far more likely to experience severe or life-threatening injuries in an accident than an adult. In fact, statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of unintentional injury death for children and adolescents (more than 12, 000 fatalities per year). Motor vehicle accidents are also one of the leading causes of nonfatal injuries in children, resulting in approximately 9.2 million emergency room visits each year.
In hopes that it would educate other parents on the importance of a well-suited and properly installed child safety seat, one mom shared the horrific photos from her crash on social media. Shared more than 100, 000 times, the photo shows a totaled car, twisted beyond the point of recognition, and two intact child safety seats. Her two young boys, (6 weeks, 36 months) walked away from the accident “completely unharmed.”
Important Notes on Using a Child Safety Seat
When used properly, a child safety seat can reduce a child’s risk of death in a crash by as much as 54 percent (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Sadly, parents sometimes make mistakes when choosing, installing, or using a child safety seat. The following are some of the most common oversights and misuses:
- Transitioning the child too soon: Includes moving the child from a rear-facing to forward-facing position, a five-point harness to a booster seat, or a safety seat to just the seatbelt.
- Failing to use the tether strap: Vehicles that have been manufactured since the year 2000 have tether strap systems to help secure child safety seats. Shown to reduce a child’s head movement by as much as four to six inches in a crash, this feature can prevent and minimize the risk of head injuries, neck injuries, and spinal injuries when used.
- Improper or ineffective use of the harness: Harnesses are like seat belts; they need to be snug against the child’s body to work (but not too tight). Parents should also avoid placing their child in their safety seat with thick clothing or blankets on. Instead, remove the excess clothing or blanket and then lay a blanket over your child if they need to keep warm during the ride.
Contact Our Green Bay Child Injury Lawyers
While car seats are an effective way to reduce a child’s risk of death and injury in a crash, they cannot eliminate it entirely. Sadly, this means there are parents and children suffering, struggling to overcome the tragedy of a serious injury or death. Compensation may not fix things, but it can ease at least some of the family’s burdens. If a crash has caused death or injury to your child, contact Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. for assistance. Compassionate and skilled, our dedicated Green Bay child injury lawyers will fight for the most favorable settlement possible. Schedule your free and personalized consultation by calling 920-739-7366 today.