If you're the parent of young children, and you spend a sizable amount of time every day strapping your children into their car seats (and getting them out of their car seats!), you may have already heard about the Department of Transportation’s educational campaign, Child Passenger Safety Week, which took place in mid-September.
During this safety week, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a slate of new technologies and tools, such as a Car Seat Finder tool, which can help parents register their car seats rapidly. Per the NHTSA’s official release “every 34 seconds, a child under the age of 13 is involved in a crash and more than a third of children killed in crashes were not in car seats or wearing seatbelts.”
The Car Seat Finder tool can help parents register their car seats and also stay up to speed on potential recall notifications. Notifications can help prevent injuries and assist parents whose children have been hurt in accidents. Here are some key safety tips from the NHTSA:
• Use the NHTSA car seat finder tool to make sure that your children are in appropriate seats, based on their weight and age;
• Make sure a certified child passenger safety technician inspects your car seats on a regular basis;
• All children younger than 13 should be restrained in the backseat and wear safety restraints;
• Be a good example and wear your safety belt at all times;
• Avoid dangerous behaviors like talking on the cellphone while driving or driving while fatigued, angry or under the influence;
• Read and follow the instructions for car seat installation and maintenance;
• If you get an alert that a recall has been issued for your car seat, act right away and get it fixed. The manufacturer should fix the problem for free for you;
• Make sure to take your kids with you every time you leave the car. Obviously, parents can often find themselves sleep deprived and distracted, but if you leave your children in a car, they can get seriously injured or killed from heat stroke or freezing;
• Tighten the straps on cars seats, so that your children are not too loose in their seats, but don’t pull so tight that you hurt them or make them too uncomfortable.
If you suspect that a damaged or defective car seat played a role in a recent injury accident, our DC car accident law firm can provide a free consultation to help you figure out what you might be able to do to get compensation.
Curious to learn more about car safety for kids? Check out: Hot Car Deaths, the Law, and a New Way to Prevent Them