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12 Biggest Child Passenger Mistakes

Destiny Baker3 years ago

In efforts to raise car seat awareness for Child Passenger Safety Week (running September 15 through September 21), AAA has released the twelve biggest mistakes parents make with child passengers. AAA would like to remind parents that even the smallest oversight in child passenger safety can dramatically increase the risk of injury in the event of an accident.

12 Biggest Child Passenger Mistakes Made by Parents

  1. Moving a child out of their booster seat too soon – A child should remain in a booster seat until 8 to 12 years of age depending on development. A child should be able to sit with their back against the back of the seat and have their feet touch the ground. Moving a child out of a booster seat too soon can result in neck injuries and abdominal injuries in the event of a collision.
  2. Not installing the car seat tight enough – Upon installation, a car seat should move no more than one inch in any direction (front to back or side to side). Failure to proper secure a car seat can result in a greater impact upon the child and may cause significant injury.
  3. Having harness straps too loose – Harness straps should lie flat with little slack and without any twists. If a child’s harness strap is too loose, the child can potentially be ejected from the car seat upon collision or a sudden stop.
  4. Having the retainer clip too low – The retainer clip or chest clip should sit at armpit level. Failure to properly place the retainer clip can result in the child being ejected from the car seat, or the clip itself may cause internal injury up impact.
  5. Turning a child forward too soon – Once a child reaches the height or weight limits specified by a car seat manufacturer, they should be moved to a rear facing convertible car seat. Rear facing car seats reduce the chance of a second year child being seriously injured or killed by 5 times.
  6. Allowing a child under 13 to ride in the front seat – Children should not be allowed to ride in the front seat until they reach their teenage years as air bags may pose a significant threat.
  7. Forgetting the top tether – Always use the top tether when using a LATCH or seat belt installed care seat. Failure to do so can result in head injuries and neck injuries to the child.
  8. Adding additional toys, mirrors, or padding to a car seat – AAA advises that all lose products to be secured in the vehicles trunk or storage space as they may become projectiles during a collision. Additional padding or attachments to a car seat may reduce its functionality.
  9. Installing a LATCH car seat in the center rear seat – Most vehicles do not include LATCH anchors in the center rear seat. Parents may mistakenly use anchors provided by for outboard seats leading to the car seat being tossed from the seat during a collision.
  10. Transporting unsecured, heavy items in a vehicle – Such objects can become during projectiles during a collision. Again, all loose items should be place in the trunk or in a storage area and pets should be restrained with the appropriate devices.
  11. Installing a car seat using both the LATCH system and the seat belt – Most LATCH car seats also include seat belt connections. Using both will put unnecessary stress on the car seat reducing functionality.
  12. Having children wear bulky clothing while in a car seat – Coats and sweaters are considered unapproved padding can result in slack in the harness system. Jackets, blankets, and sweaters should be place over the child after they are securely seated in the car seat.

Contact an Experienced Child Injury Attorney

At Thomas J. Henry, we have the experience and resources to handle your child’s case. If your child has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact our offices immediately. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends, and we represent clients/victims all over the country.


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