According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2009, 1,314 children ages 14 years and younger died in auto accidents, and approximately 179,000 were injured. Parents and caregivers can make a lifesaving difference beginning by celebrating Child Passenger Safety Week; a week long reminder to parents and other caregivers of the need for all children to be properly restrained in a car seat.
While most parents wouldn’t think of putting their child in the car without a car seat or a booster seat even if the law didn’t require it, some may not be aware how critical it is to choose the right seat. Selecting a car seat must be based on a child’s weight, height and development, and be properly installed in the vehicle in accordance with the car seat manufacturer’s instructions and the vehicles owner’s manual.
These are guidelines from the CDC for child passenger safety:
- Birth – 1-year-old / 20 lbs – For the best possible protection keep infants in the back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats, as long as possible up to the height or weight limit of the car seat. At a minimum, keep infants rear-facing until at least age 1 year and at least 20 pounds.
- 1 year to 4 years / 40 lbs – When children outgrow their rear-facing seats (at least age 1 year and at least 20 pounds) they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in the back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the particular seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds).
- 4 years – 8 years / 4’ 9” tall – Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds), they should ride in booster seats, in the back seat, until the vehicle seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest (usually at age 8 or when the children are 4’9" tall).
- 8 years and older / or 4’9" tall – When children outgrow their booster seats (usually at age 8 or when they are 4’9" tall), they can use the adult seat belts in the back seat, if they fit properly (lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest).
Remember, accidents can happen at any time. Having children properly restrained in vehicles is not an option, it is required by law! This Saturday, September 24, is National Car Seat Safety Check. Certified child passenger safety technicians will be available nationwide to inspect car seats and provide hands-on advice free of charge. Lawsuit Financial urges all parents and caregivers to visit a child seat inspection station in your area. For a complete list, click here.
Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life funding is needed during litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series—Mark Bello is also the CEO of Lawsuit Financial and the country’s leading expert in providing non-recourse lawsuit funding to plaintiffs involved in pending litigation. He is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.