Do you know how to properly use a child safety seat? At our Phoenix personal injury law firm we often represent children who have been injured in car accidents. Car seats have a vital part in ensuring the safety of our children while driving. According to the CDC, the leading cause of death among children in the United States is vehicle injuries. Safe Kids Worldwide reports that one in five parents of young children will “bend the rules” by letting children ride without car seats, booster seats, and sometimes even seatbelts. Use of a car seat reduces risk of death for infants by 71% and toddlers by 54%. Booster seats for young children reduce the risk of serious injury by 45%.
A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) survey reveals parents often make crucial mistakes with car seats including the wrong harness slots used, loose car seats, loose harness', wrong seat belt placement, and improper positioning of the harness chest clip. One in five parents do not read any instructions prior to installing child safety seats. Parents are also choosing to stop using booster seats prior to kids reaching the appropriate size requirement to use a regular seat belt.
The use of age and size appropriate child safety seats can save lives and reduce the risk of serious injury. Also, it is the law.
A.R.S. Sec. 28-907. Child restraint system; civil penalty; exemptions; notice; child restraint fund; definitions
A. … a person shall not operate a motor vehicle on the highways in this state when transporting a child who is under five years of age unless that child is properly secured in a child restraint system.
B. The operator of a motor vehicle that is designed for carrying ten or fewer passengers, that is manufactured for the model year 1972 and thereafter and that is required to be equipped with an integrated lap and shoulder belt or a lap belt pursuant to the federal motor vehicle safety standards prescribed in 49 Code of Federal Regulations section 571.208 shall require each passenger who is at least five years of age, who is under eight years of age and who is not more than four feet nine inches tall to be restrained in a child restraint system.
If you need help learning how to install your child's safety seat, Maricopa County provides a list of Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians at agencies around the valley that may assist you.
Jay Ciulla is a Phoenix personal injury and wrongful death lawyer.