More accidents are happening each and every year and children are mainly involved in such accidents. For this reason, the main and top priority of any parent should be the safety of their babies and children especially when on the road travelling with family. And there’s no better and safer way to ensure your baby is safe than by placing him or her in a car seat so as to prevent a conceivable fatal injury during a car crash or collision. Holding a baby on your lap is one of the common mistakes that most parents commit since that’s very ineffective as far as keeping the baby protected during a collision is concerned. For this reason, a car seat is a very important baby gear that every parent must get for their children.
Important stats you should know
- According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 650 children under the age of 12 who died as occupants in crashes involving motor vehicles and more than 140,000 children were also injured in 2011 in the U.S.
- They also conducted a study from which they discovered that more than 618,000 children between the ages of 0 – 12 rode in vehicles without using a booster seat or child safety seat in just one year. And out of all those casualties, 33% of the toddlers were not safely buckled.
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a child under the age of 13 is involved in a car accident every 34 seconds. They also made a statistic that demonstrates there are more than 1,700 fatalities and 840,000 injuries every year from vehicle crashes off public highways.
All those facts above clearly show that injuries from car accidents are the main source of death among toddlers and children in the U.S. It also demonstrates how the proper use of a car seat that’s suited for your child’s weight, height and age is fundamental to the safety of your child when travelling by car. The risk of car accidents is also reduced and as a result more and more lives are saved.
In the U.S, most states have a law that obliges parents to let their children ride in a car safety seat when on the road travelling. The guidelines to be followed when installing a car seat in your vehicle have also been incorporated as well. You should always ensure you’re using the right car seat that is properly installed and appropriately fits your child’s size and age.
Infant car seats – infants should ride rear-facing in an infant car seat until the age of two.
Forward-facing car seats – the perfect time to use a forward-facing car seat is when the child has reached the height and weight limits of a rear-facing car seat. Most convertible car seats can also be used for rear-facing and then later on be converted to forward-facing position as the child continues to grow.
Booster seats – once your child outgrows a forward-facing car seat, it’s time to put him/her in a booster seat until he/she grows old and big enough to be able to use the vehicle’s seat belt safely.
If you want more information regarding the law that’s proposed, below is a quote of the exact policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
“This policy statement provides 4 evidence-based recommendations for best practices in the choice of a child restraint system to optimize safety in passenger vehicles for children from birth through adolescence: (1) rear-facing car safety seats for most infants up to 2 years of age; (2) forward-facing car safety seats for most children through 4 years of age; (3) belt-positioning booster seats for most children through 8 years of age; and (4) lap-and-shoulder seat belts for all who have outgrown booster seats. In addition, a fifth evidence-based recommendation is for all children younger than 13 years to ride in the rear seats of vehicles.”
Prevention and solution
Below are the recommendations proposed by the Community Preventive Services Task Force:
- When producing a car seat, manufacturers must meet the safety guidelines proposed.
- To help increase awareness of the parents regarding the use of restraints while at the same time decreasing the risk of car accidents that can lead to fatal injuries, then education programs have become very important and helpful in this regards.
In conclusion, it’s important to ensure you buy a car safety seat for your baby or child whether you live in a country that has a law which obliges parents and children to use a car seat or not. Because the truth is that accidents happen all the time and you never know how a car seat can save your child’s life in the event of a collision.