The nation’s leading pediatrician group now advises that parents continue to use rear-facing car seats for much longer than previously defined in order to minimize the risk of injuries to their child in the event of an accident.
Up until now, the American Academy of Pediatrics had advised that children be restrained in rear-facing car seats at least until they reach two years of age. However, now the group has changed its recommendation and advises that children be restrained in rear-facing car safety seats at least until they reach the minimum height and weight that their seat is designed to hold.
It is a significant and timely update to the group’s guidelines. Car seats can now hold children who have reached 40 pounds in weight. Many children, who have reached their second birthday and beyond can still continue to use rear-facing car seats, which the group believes, work best to protect children from serious injuries in an accident. Riding in a rear-facing car seat is still the safest way for a child to ride in a car, and significantly minimizes the child’s risk of suffering severe injuries in an accident.
Unfortunately, many parents tend to move their child into a forward-facing car seat much before it is safe to do so. When a child is moved into a forward-facing car seat as soon he turns one year old – a far-too-common occurrence – the child’s risk of suffering severe injuries in an accident increases significantly. Using the wrong seat to restrain a child can actually increase a child’s risk of suffering severe injuries by as much as 70%.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, as many as four children below the age of 14 die every day in car accidents across the country. Auto accidents are a major cause of fatal injury among children of this age group. Many of these fatal injuries can be prevented by ensuring that children are restrained in car seats that are ideal for their height and weight.
The Indianapolis lawyers at Montross Miller represent persons injured in car accidents across Indiana.