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Common Child Safety Seat Errors

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Car Accidents

safety seat, Orland Park personal injury lawyerAs summer approaches – and with gas prices significantly lower than they have been in previous years – families will be taking to the roads to enjoy day trips and vacation outings. For parents with young children, one of the most important items they will have in their vehicles is the child safety seat that they depend on to keep their little one safe in the event of a car accident. National statistics, however, reveal that four out of every five safety seats on the road are not being used correctly – leaving their tiny occupants at serious risk.

Seat Base Too Loose

The most common mistake that parents make when installing child safety seats is not making the base of the seat tight enough. A good test to see if the base is installed property is to grab the base on both sides – in the areas where the seat belt is looped through – and try to move it. The base should not budge more than an inch on either side or when being pulled forward. If the base moves, it is not installed correctly. Car seat safety inspectors recommend placing your knee on the base and putting your weight on it, while tightening the seat belt. If you are installing an infant seat, use your elbow during this step. When the belt is as tight as it can go, it is critical to make sure the seat belt locks. This is another step that many parents forget, which can have tragic consequences in the event of an accident.

Harness Straps

Another common error many parents make is that they do not have the child’s harness belt tight enough. A harness that is too loose can permit a child to be propelled out of the seat in the event of a crash. You should not be able to pinch any section of the belt between your fingers. Parents should make sure the straps are snug and have no slack at all.

Many parents also put the harness straps through the incorrect slots. When a seat is used in the rear facing position, the straps should be in the lower slots. Once the seat is turned and is used forward facing, the upper slots are the only ones that should be used. Using the lower slots could result in the straps breaking in a collision.

Infant Seat Errors

There are several common mistakes parents make when using infant seats. The first is turning the seat in a forward facing position too soon. A child who weighs less than 20 pounds should not be faced forward, even if they are over a year old.

When facing rear, infant seats should also be installed at a 45-degree angle. Most seats are equipped with an adjustable level that can tell you if the angle is correct.

Legal Help

Unfortunately, no matter how safe we think we are keeping our family, there is always the risk of some other driver who is not operating his or her vehicle in a responsible manner causing an accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash, contact an experienced Orland Park personal injury attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have.

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