Safety of child car passengers: a brief guide

People should prioritize and maximize the safety of their children, and they can start by learning how car seats can save lives.

Even the safest drivers in Massachusetts sometimes lose control on the road, or end up in situations where they cannot avoid collisions. This is why cars are designed with safety in mind, including important protections such as seatbelts and airbags. In order to optimize car safety for children, however, additional precautions need to be taken to protect them from injury in case an accident does occur. Many of these additional safety measures are essential to protecting those who are under a certain height and weight, and should be implemented in all vehicles in which kids are riding.

General safety tips

The most commonly suggested child safety measure for vehicles is a car or booster seat, and this will be explained in detail in the next section. In general, the first thing that guardians should keep in mind is that seat belts are not only required by law in many states, but are also known to save lives. Another important safety measure is to make sure that any kids under the age of 12 sit in the back seat of the car. Even with kids seated in the back and using seat belts, the way seat belts are designed makes them perfect to fit most adults, but a bit oversized for children. This is where car and booster seats come into the picture.

Importance and proper use of car and booster seats

The idea behind car seats is to keep children as secure as possible in a vehicle where the seats are designed for adults to sit in. There are different types of seats that appropriately serve the needs of different age groups. For the oldest children (anywhere from four to twelve years of age depending on their heights), a booster seat can be used in combination with the actual seatbelt in the car to provide a safe and secure restraint.

Typically the forward-facing car seat is the preceding step. These seats are set up with their own secure buckling system that prevents the child from moving forward or slipping beneath the restraints. Kids may sit in these seats up to the age of seven, and can start using them as early as one year of age.

The earliest type of car seat used is for infants, but may be used by children up to the age of three. The rear-facing car seats are set up to protect children from violent motion, but they also have the benefit of being able to move and rock slightly with the motion of the vehicle so as to prevent sudden shocks and jerky movements from damaging a very young child's delicate spine and neck.

Anyone who has been involved in a car accident where their child was injured or worse could be dealing with expansive medical bills, not to mention the pain and suffering that can be involved. When seeking financial compensation, an attorney in the local area who practices motor vehicle law may be able to help achieve a favorable result.