Child Injury Caused by Defective Car Seat

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Children are the most at risk during car accidents. To minimize injuries, car manufacturers include safety seats for children in their vehicles. However, car seats are often times designed improperly or manufactured in a defective way. Consequently, it may result to a child car seat injury.

Certainly, using restraint is better than nothing at all.  But using a proper child seat is advised to provide safe transportation. Otherwise, a child may be put at risk of suffering a major injury or even death.

Seats for Children

A car seat or booster seat is helpful in providing safe transportation and in protecting children. However, seats vary on whether the passenger is an infant, toddler or older child. As they are very fragile, infants must be secured seated. For them, a rear-facing seat can support their upper body, protect the head, neck and spine and spread crash forces across the back. A properly installed child safety seats reduce the infant’s death to 71 percent. If seated in the front seat, the baby may be injured by a passenger side airbag.

For children ages 4 to 8 years old, adult seatbelts as a safety device can cause injuries of the head, neck, and spine, in addition to abdominal and internal organ damage. Children at this age group are big to fit into a child restraint seat and small to use a regular seatbelt.  As the name implies, children of this age must be provided with booster seats to give the added height so that an adult-sized seatbelts are positioned properly across their smaller bodies.

While children 9 to 12 years old are ready to ride with only a seatbelt, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are recommending that they ride in the back seat until age 13. A child should stay in a booster seat until an adult seatbelt fits them properly.

Admittedly, using just any restraint will still cause injuries. Children must be placed in a safety seat or belt-positioning booster seat to prevent injuries. In case of collisions, a child improperly or loosely restrained will continue to move at the same speed before the crash and then abruptly hit the car’s interior while properly seated children come to a more gradual stop.

Manufacturer Liability for Poor Design

Child car seats are supposed to protect children. However, when they are improperly designed, a child car seat injury claims may be filed against negligent car manufacturers or retailers. Parents of children injured in a car accident due to a poorly designed car seat should consider talking to a product liability lawyer to investigate the circumstances of the injury.

From the author: Studies on Child Injury Prevention