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Child Passenger Safety Week to Protect Our Youngest Motorists

Close to 40 percent of the children who were killed in passenger-vehicle accidents in the U.S. in 2011 were not in car seats or were not wearing a seat belt. And that why officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are stepping up and asking parents and guardians to protect their most vulnerable motorists. It’s all wrapped up in Child Passenger Safety Week.
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The purpose of this week-long safety effort is to help raise awareness and knowledge in parents and guardians about the proper use of booster seats, child car seats and seat belts for young passengers.

Our Miramar personal injury attorneys understand that car accidents continue to be the number one killer of children across the country. In 2011, there were about 2 children under the age of 13 who died and another 340 who were injured each and every day while riding in a passenger vehicle.

When you use a car seat, and you install it properly, you can potentially save your child’s life and reduce their risks for injury.

From 1975 to 2011, there were about 10,000 children under the age of 5 who were saved in car accidents because of properly-used child restraints. Officials estimate that about 260 were saved in 2011 alone.

Studies indicate that close to 75 percent of all car seats are not used or installed correctly. All it takes is a little bit of time and effort. To help to make sure that your child is properly buckled during every car ride, consider the following:

-Make sure your child has a car seat that is appropriate for their age, size, weight and height. You can find more information here.

-Be sure that you locate and review the instructions, owner’s manual and the labels of the child car seat. Make sure everything is set up and buckled properly.

-Stop by one of the many Child Car Seat Inspection Stations in Florida. At these locations, you can have a trained professional install and check your seat to make sure it’s up to par.

-Use the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) restraint system or a seat belt when you’re installing your child’s car seat. Use the top tether to secure all forward-facing car seats.

-Make sure that the car seat is the right fit for your vehicle. Not all car seats fit in all vehicles. Test the car seat you plan to buy to make sure it fits well in your vehicle.

-Visit SaferCar.gov and register your child’s car seat. You can get customized information regarding safety alerts and recalls.

-Set a good example and always buckle your seat belt. Recent studies have shown that parents who are more likely to buckle up are more likely to buckle their children in.

-Share this information with other adults who may transport your child, like a daycare center or a babysitter. Make sure everyone’s on the same page.

If you or someone in your family has been injured or killed in an accident, contact Freeman Injury Law at 1-800-561-7777 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

South Florida at High Risk of Child Heat Stroke Deaths, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, July 21, 2013

Back To School: Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety in South Florida, South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog, August 16, 2013

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