Children’s car seats are designed to keep children safer in the event of an accident. Unlike a regular seatbelt, car seats specifically protect small bodies. However, car accidents remain the leading cause of death among children. This is largely due to the improper use of child car seats. Massachusetts consumers need be aware of proper use of car seats, and also be aware of recalls of defective car seats for children.
Last month a recall was issued for Graco’s ComfortSport Convertible Car Seats due to an obscured warning label regarding the child airbag. Car seats can be confusing to install in the first place, but with important warnings covered, it can be close to impossible. Learn more about Ease of Use Ratings below.
Remember that a car seat is only beneficial if
- It fits the child.
- It is properly secured into the car.
- It is in working order.
Selecting a Car Seat Appropriate for Your Child’s Size
Rear-Facing Seats: These are appropriate for infants. Use a rear-facing seat from birth until your child is at least one year old. However, you should still use a rear-facing seat as long as your child weighs less than 20 pounds. This is the safest type of car seat–as long as your child fits in it properly.
Forward-Facing Toddler Seats: This type of seat protects children who are at least twenty pounds. It should always be placed in the back seat of your vehicle and can be used until your child weighs 40 pounds (generally around the age of four).
Booster Seats: These larger car seats are used in the rear seats of the vehicle for children over 40 pounds. You should use a booster seat until your child is either eight years old or 4’9″ tall.
Back Seat with Safety Belt: Once your child is eight years old or 4’9″ tall, he or she can sit in a regular seat with a regular safety belt. However, all children under the age of twelve should ride in the back seat.
Properly Securing Your Child Seat
Installing a child seat can be a daunting task–especially if you are a new parent.
Luckily, each year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration creates Car Seat Ease-of-Use Ratings. View the ratings here before you buy, and you’ll save yourself a lot of confusion–and possible misuse of your car seat.
Have your car seat installation checked for FREE! Find a location by clicking here.
Ensure Your Car Seat Is Not Defective!
Each year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announces approximately eight recalls of car seats or child restraints. To ensure the safety of your child, it essential that you know about these recalls. You can sign up to receive child seat recall notices via email here.
An even better option is to register your car seat. In the event of a recall, the manufacturer is required to contact all registered owners by mail. Just make sure that you update your registration if you move. Register your car seat here.
What to Do If Your Child is Injured by a Defective Car Seat
In the event that your child becomes injured in a motor vehicle accident as a result of a faulty car seat, you should seek immediate legal assistance. The attorneys at Breakstone, White & Gluck, PC specialize in personal injury and product liability cases, including defective car seat claims. Contact us for a free initial consultation,
toll free, at 800-379-1244.