Watching a child suffer from an injury as a result of a car crash or losing one to a collision is something no parent ever wants to experience nor should they have to. But according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), car crashes “remain a leading cause of death for children four years and older.” With dangerous and distracted drivers out sharing the roads with you and your loved ones, it is essential you are doing everything in your power to keep your little ones safe and to help prevent an injury in the event an accident does occur. So how can you do this?
There are certain measures parents can take to help their child avoid an injury or prevent their death when riding in a car. Below we outline some ways you can do this if you are a parent or even a caregiver who is responsible for transporting a small child in a motor vehicle.
- Stay up to date with the best practice recommendations the American Academy of Pediatrics provides. Every so often, the AAP will update their policy statement on childhood passenger safety and it should be reviewed each time this statement is modified. Currently, the AAP provides the following recommendations “for optimal safety”:
- Children should remain in a rear-facing car safety seat for as long as possible. You will want to take note of the height and weight limitations the manufacturer has set for the car seat to ensure your child has not grown too big for it.
- When your child has outgrown their rear-facing car seat and there are no others that accommodate their height and weight, you can switch to a forward-facing car seat. Be sure the seat you choose is age appropriate and is not for a child that is smaller or larger than your child. Their height, weight, and age should fall somewhere into the limitations the manufacturer has identified for that particular seat.
- After your child has outgrown their forward-facing seat, you can then transition them into a booster seat. The American Academy of Family Physicians says that you will want to keep them in the booster seat until “the vehicle lap and shoulder seat belt fits properly, typically when they reached four feet nine inches in height and are between eight and 12 years of age.
- Once your child has reached the point where their height and weight no longer require them to sit in a booster seat, have them use the lap and shoulder seat belts your vehicle comes equipped with.
- The AAP also recommends that “all children younger than 13 years of age to ride in the rear seats of vehicles.”
- Parents who are uncertain on how to install their child’s car seat or booster seat inside their vehicle should ask for help. The same goes for parents who are unsure whether their child is a point where they are ready to transition into a new seat. You can contact the Mississippi State Department of Health as they “conduct safety seat checks and educate parents in the proper installation of car safety seats” and even discuss it with your child’s pediatrician they can help you better understand what type of seat is best for your child.
What should I do if my child was injured in an auto accident in Gulfport, MS?
If your child is the unfortunate victim of an auto accident that occurred in Gulfport, MS and you are looking for someone to answer the legal questions you have, contact Gulfport accident attorney Michael Hingle. Michael Hingle & Associates, LLC has helped many car crash victims obtain a successful outcome in their case and is prepared to do the same for you. Whether you are looking to obtain justice against the driver who hit you and/or recover compensation for the pain and suffering the accident has brought on, this firm is more than qualified to help you obtain this.
You can reach Michael Hingle & Associates, LLC at:
12337 Ashley Drive, Ste E
Gulfport, MS 39503