According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are a staggering number of children who are not in their appropriate car seats for their age.
- 14% of 1-3 year olds are put in booster seats or seatbelts way too soon.
- 25% of 4-7 year olds are put in seat belts way too soon.
Even more astonishing, some children are completely unrestrained in their vehicles.
- 4% of 1-3 year olds are unrestrained.
- 10% of 4-7 year olds are unrestrained.
- 12% of 8-12 year olds.
Of the children under 15 who died in a car crash in 2011, nearly half (4 out of 10) were unrestrained at the time of the crash. Unrestrained children are more likely to be ejected from a vehicle, and ejection from a vehicle causes more fatalities. (See our post on safety belt use here.)
I am assuming that most of our readers are using some type of restraint system for their young children. Even if you are using a proper car seat, make sure that it is age appropriate for your child. Children under the age of 2 should be in a rear-facing position. Moving your child into a booster seat should not only depend on your child’s age but also your child’s height and weight. Even after your child is beyond a booster seat, the NHTSA recommends that children under 13 sit in the back seat. I also recommend that you check in with a certified technician at a Child Car Seat Inspection Station. They will make sure you have everything properly installed.
If you have any questions regarding car seat safety, or if you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident with a child, please contact us today.