September is National Child Safety Month and they’ve dedicated one of the weeks specifically to child safety seats. Securing your child in a proper car seat or booster seat while riding in the car is the number one thing a caregiver can do to ensure a child’s safety in the event of a car accident. As a Seattle personal injury lawyer, I urge you to have your safety seats inspected, since there’s no room for error when it comes to your child’s well being.
Since 1975, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that nearly 9,000 young lives have been saved as a result of proper safety restraints. During the week of September 19-25th, local stations will be offering free inspections so you can rest assured that your safety seat is installed correctly. Also, they will make sure that the seat you have purchased is a safe option for your child.
As a parent, there are 4 key steps you need to take to ensure your child’s safety in the car. If you have an infant that is under one year of age and 20 lbs, they need to be placed in a rear facing car seat that is installed in the back seat. After their first birthday, if they are over 20 pounds they should switch to a forward facing seat that is still seated in the back of the car.
When they reach 4 years of age and a minimum weight of 40 pounds, they can upgrade to a booster seat which will allow the seat belt to fit properly across their body. Until they reach 4’9″ tall, which is usually around age 8, they can graduate to using the seat belt like an adult, without the booster seat. Until your child is 13 years of age, they should always ride in the back seat where they are safest.