Car accident attorneys in Hollywood, Port St. Lucie and Pompano Beach want to remind parents that next week is a good time to ask questions about the proper use of your child’s safety seat. That’s because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is holding its annual Child Passenger Safety Week from Sept. 18 through the 24th. Parents can make arrangements during this awareness campaign to ensure their children’s restraint seats meet all applicable standards.
The Palm Beach Post wrote a story featuring a parent who is thankful she took the initiative to change her children’s safety seats because a month later she was involved in a car accident in Boynton Beach. Knowing her child restraint seats were outdated, she placed a call to Safe Kids Palm Beach County in hopes of replacing them. In exchange for a donation, she received two new car seats that she believes saved her children’s lives in the tragic accident that left her a quadriplegic. A spokeswoman from Safe Kids presented the mother with the ‘Saved by the Belt Award’ for knowing that a change needed to be made, which ultimately saved her children lives.
Her two children were 2 years old and 7 months at the time of the accident, and thankfully avoided injuries despite the Ford Explorer they were riding was hit several times. A 15-year-old unlicensed driver allegedly side-swiped the Ford Explorer a little over a year ago causing several other vehicles and objects to make impact during the accident.
On National Seat Check Day, Saturday, Sept. 24, parents throughout the country can visit a child-seat inspection station free of charge to determine if their child’s car seat meets standards, and that it is properly fastened into the vehicle. Parents can also ask safety technicians for advice about child safety while riding in a car. To locate a child car-seat inspection station near you, click here for a map.
In other child car seat safety news, the National Safety Commission reports that there is a growing problem with children unbuckling themselves in their child-restraint seat while the car is in motion. Children as young as 12 months are unbuckling themselves, putting them at risk of being injured at a rate three times greater than a child who is properly restrained in a car seat. The study revealed that boys were more likely to unbuckle than girls, and that 75 percent of children who unfastened their safety restraint were age 3 and under. Researchers also found that 29 percent of children who unbuckle are restrained in a five-point seat and typically unbuckle from the chest restraint.
If your child has learned to unbuckle his or her child restraint or booster seat, don’t try to fix the problem while you are driving. Instead, pull over to a safe place to re-fasten the belt, and if the child is old enough to understand, talk to him or her about the importance of staying buckled up.
To find a child safety coalition in your area, visit Safe Kids Florida. This website can also help you find a car seat check-up event or inspection station near you.
The car accident attorneys at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC are dedicated to protecting young children and their families involved in a car accident in Margate, Delray Beach, St. Lucie and elsewhere in South Florida. If you or a family member has been injured, call for a free appointment to discuss your claim at 1-800-561-7777.
Officials kick off National Child Passenger Safety Week in Greenacres, by Cynthia Roldan, The Palm Beach Post.
More Blog Entries:
Nationwide Seatbelt Usage Rates Mirror Florida’s as Authorities Seek Injury Reduction in Traffic Crashes, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, January 8, 2011.
New Recalls Issued by CPSC to Prevent Child Injury in Fort Lauderdale and Elsewhere, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, August 3, 2011.