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Proper restraint of your child thought to reduce car crash deaths

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every hour of every day across this country, some 150 children between the ages of 0 and 19 receive treatment in an emergency room for injuries they suffered in a car crash. In an even more alarming statistic, of all children between the age of 5 and 19, injuries suffered in car crashes rank highest among any other risk factors for young people's deaths.

Not properly restraining your child in a car seat, booster seat or ensuring they are secured in the car using a seat belt are all thought to be responsible for the largest amount of car crash fatalities. Given that this is the case, it is thought that following prescribed safety guidelines can have a significant impact in reducing traffic-related deaths.

For kids ages birth through 2 years old, many states require them to be secured in car seats turned in the rear-facing direction in the backseat. At age 2, or perhaps a bit earlier if your child's weight and height have exceeded the seat's limits, it's then that your child can begin riding in a forward-facing direction, again in the backseat. This can continue until they're 5 years old.

From age 5 onward, until a seat can be properly secured around your child, your child must continue to ride in an age-appropriate booster seat. As for what is deemed to be a properly secured seat belt, a lap belt must be capable of laying across your child's upper thighs and shoulder belt across your child's chest. This is thought to be the best positioning to allow for the highest degree of protection of your child in the event of an accident.

Once a child is capable of riding in a car with only the protection of a seat belt, it's important that they ride in the rear seat of the car until they are over 12. The impact of a car's airbags has been shown to be particularly deadly to children younger than this. Additionally, parents should seek to have their child sit in the middle of the backseat when riding in the car, a spot that has been shown to be the safest one in the vehicle.

If your child has been injured in a car crash, an experienced Waco, Texas, motor vehicle accident attorney can provide advice in your legal matter.

Source: CDC.gov, "Protect the ones you love: child injuries are preventable," accessed April 14, 2017

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