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Prevent Child Injuries By Using the Right Car Seats for Your Kids

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on July 11, 2011

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides safety guidelines for child car seats. Nearly all children from birth to age 12 need to ride in some kind of car seat in order to be restrained properly if an accident occurs. The following tips can help you choose the right car seat for your kids.

Starting at birth, infants should ride in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat of the car. Never put a rear-facing car seat in front of an airbag, since the child can be severely injured if the airbag goes off. Use a rear-facing car seat as long as your child fits the seat’s height and weight requirements – usually, about one to three years. When a child has outgrown a rear-facing car seat, they may switch to a forward-facing seat, but should still ride in the back seat of the car.

Starting at about age four, most children will outgrow their car seats and will need to switch to a booster seat. A booster seat lifts a child up so that the seat belt fits correctly, with the lap belt lying low on the lap and the shoulder belt lying across the child’s chest and shoulder, not the neck. Children should stay in booster seats until they are large enough to use the seat belt properly without one.

When choosing a car or booster seat, check the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements in order to ensure the seat is the right fit for your child. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) also offers information about car seats, including information about recalls and safety issues.

Car accident injuries are always distressing, but they can be particularly terrifying for children. If your child has been injured in a car accident in Washington, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced child car accident victim attorneys in Seattle at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. For a free and confidential consultation, call us today at 888-228-3860.

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