An article appeared recently on the website caremom.com titled, “9 Lifesaving Car Seat Rules You’re Probably Ignoring. The article reminded that car seats are installed and used correctly to avoid unnecessary personal injuries and even death of children in motor vehicle accidents. The article strongly recommends that the following rules be observed for the child’s safety when a car seat is being used:
1. Make sure the shoulder straps are in proper position-meaning that when the baby is rear-facing, the straps should be at or below the baby’s shoulders.
2. Baby should be rear-facing until at least 2 years old and for as long as they fit that way.
3. There should be no gaps between the baby’s crotch/groin area and the Harness.
4. The chest clip should be positioned on the chest-the chest clip should be between nipples and armpits.
5. Know proper guidelines for outgrowing the car seat.
6. Straps need to pass the “pinch test”- The new rule is to first pull any slack tight from the lap-portion, and then pinch the straps at the collar bone (your fingers are pinching top-to-bottom ). If you’re able to pinch the strap, it’s too loose.
7. No coats while in the car seat.
8. Read the car seat manual.
9. When in doubt ask for help to make sure seat installed correctly.
Another way that parents and caregivers can monitor the safety of a car seat it to sign up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to receive automatic e-mail alerts when there is a government recall of defective child restraint safety seats.
The lawyers at Levine & Slavit have decades of experience handling personal injury claims. If you or someone close to you has been injured by a product that was not properly manufactured, designed or labeled, contact the offices of Levine & Slavit in New York or Long Island for their help. We have offices in Manhattan and Long Island, handling cases in New York City, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and surrounding areas including Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties. For 50 years spanning 3 generations, we have obtained results for satisfied clients.
To learn more, watch our videos or go to our Injured? What Next? page.