Child Car Seat Safety

Tragically every year hundreds of children are killed in automobile accidents. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading killer of children under the age of 13 in the United States. Many child vehicle deaths could be prevented if the child were properly restrained.

Child safety seats greatly reduce the chance of injury or death of a child in the event of an accident, sadly 40% of children continue to ride unprotected, and studies have shown that as many as 9 out of 10 children who are in a safety seat are not strapped in correctly. Here are 9 lifesaving car seat rules to always follow:

A child should never ride in the front seat. Restraining children in rear seats instead of front seats reduces fatal injury risk by about three-quarters for children up to age 3, and almost half for children ages 4 to 8. If possible a child seat should be positioned in the center position of the rear seat; doing so greatly reduces the risk of death or severe injury to the child in the event of a side impact. Even the safest vehicles have limitations on their ability to sustain a high speed side impact, as little as an extra 8 inches away from a side impact can significantly increase an accident’s survivability. For more information about automobile safety click here:

Is your child ready for a booster seat? Hold on, not so fast!

Generally when a child is at least 4 years old, taller than 35 inches, and weighs more than 40 pounds they could be restrained in an automobile booster seat, using the vehicles seat belt instead of a harness. Child safety seats utilize a 5 point harness. The name is derived from the fact that the harness makes contact with the body a 5 points; both hips, both shoulders and the chest. This is the same type of restraint a race car driver wears. An over the shoulder automobile seatbelt by contrast only has 3 points of contact. While your child may meet the size requirements for a booster seat, it is important to consider your child’s maturity and behavior in your vehicle. A 5 point harness restricts your child’s movement and posture, keeping them in a safe position. A 3 point seatbelt will allow your child more freedom, but it also could put them at greater risk for injury. Click here for more info:

A 5 point harness child seat affords your child greater safety and should be used as long as possible. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when securing the seat in your vehicle, and securing your child in the seat, this is critical regardless of the type of seat you choose. Some child seats are safer than others, but even the most basic seat properly used will protect your child more than an expensive top rated seat that is not properly used.

Finally, child safety seats have expiration dates, make sure the seat you use is still within its service dates. The plastics used in the construction of the seat can break down and become brittle do to the constant extreme temperature changes the inside of a vehicle experiences. An old, expired, brittle car seat can disintegrate in an accident leaving your child free flying into harms way. Check the date and stay safe, after all you are transporting precious cargo.

For more automobile safety tips click here:

We truly hope you and your children will never be injured in an automobile accident, but if you are give us a call, we are here to help. 1-888-WE MEAN IT

Steve was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As was the practice for new doctors his father worked day and night during his medical residency at Charity Hospital there. Steve comes from a long line of doctors. His father, his grandfather, his great grandfather, even two uncles were all specialists and/or surgeons in their chosen medical specialties, including internal medicine specialist, obstetrics / gynecology, neurosurgery and general practice / surgery. His great-great grandfather was the Surgeon General of Ohio during the Civil War.