The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to indicate that car accidents remain the leading cause of death in children. In fact, in 2018, 636 children aged 12 years and younger died in an automobile collision, and 97,000 children suffered some sort of injury because of this accident.
Seeing your child hurt in any accident is unimaginable. Experiencing your child seriously injured in a preventable car accident can be incredibly devastating. Yet, these crashes happen every day across our country and result in our children suffering debilitating harm, catastrophic injuries, and life-long repercussions that not only affect the child but the whole family as well. That is why, in this blog post, we want to help you better understand how these accidents happen and show you what you can do to protect your children from these deadly accidents.
Understanding Common Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries and Their Impact
It is common knowledge that car accident injuries can vary in type and severity depending on the circumstances of the collision. However, because children’s bodies and brains are still developing, even a minor accident can lead to a lifetime of struggles. Typically, the most common injuries that result from these car accidents include the following:
- Head Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Spinal Cord Damages
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Significant Lacerations and Contusions
- Broken Bones or Fractured Bones
- Back Injuries
- Facial Trauma
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Extreme Anxiety or Depression
Ensuring Your Child’s Safety in the Car: Best Practices to Follow
Any individual that is transporting a child wants to ensure that the child remains safe while they are in the vehicle. It can also be extremely stressful thinking that something can happen to these children while riding in the car. However, before you let this anxiety take over. There are actions you can take to help reduce the risk of serious car accident injuries and ensure your child remains safe in the vehicle. Consider the following:
- Register Your Car Seat: Most individuals usually do not give this safety measure a second thought. But in truth, registering your car seat can be quite beneficial. Once you register your seat, it can help you keep informed about any car seat defects that may be discovered later or notify you of any car seat recalls.
- Saving Money May Not Be Best: Yes, every individual loves to save money. But when it comes to buying a second-hand car seat or using one from an older child, spending more money on a new seat may be best. This is because many times, these second-hand car seats may not be in good working condition. Or they may have been recalled or damaged, resulting in a severe injury if an accident occurs.
- Follow Instructions: Even though a car seat is known to reduce the risk of injury in a motor vehicle accident by up to 82% compared to seat belt use alone. Many times, parents either do not use it properly or do not install the seat appropriately. Leading to significant injuries in a motor vehicle accident. That is why, when installing this seat, make sure you follow the car seat instructions and read your car manual as well. If you are still unsure if the installation has been done correctly, head over to a fire department or a police station, and they can check the seat for you.
- Back Is Best: For children 12 and under, the back seat is best. This is often because the airbags in the front of the car can result in severe injuries to kids who are not large enough to ride in the front.
- Always Buckle Up: One of the best ways to ensure your child’s safety in a vehicle is to make sure they buckle up properly. Regardless of how far you are traveling, you always need to make sure that everyone is securely fastened in their seats.
- Do Not Leave Your Child Alone: You should never leave your child in a car alone, even if you want to run into a store for just a few minutes. When it is hot outside, the car’s temperature can rise significantly in a short period of time, leading to devastating injuries, heatstroke, or even death.
Car Safety for Children: A Guide to Car Seats, Booster Seats, and Seat Belts
Many parents may know that when their child is small, they need to be buckled up in a car seat. But when it comes to the transition out of this car seat, many are left clueless as to what the next steps are. To help you better protect your child, you need to understand the different stages of a car seat, a booster seat, and a seat belt.
- Start With Rear-Facing: When a child is born, they need to be in a rear-facing car seat in the back until they reach the upper height or weight limit of their seat. This typically occurs between the ages of two and four.
- Move to a Forward-Facing Car Seat: Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, the next step is to turn the car seat around and have your child ride in a forward-facing car seat. During this step, the child needs to be in the back seat, facing forward, and properly buckled. They will be in this stage until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the seat. Generally, this stage lasts until the age of five.
- Using Booster Seats: Before you take your child out of the car seat, you need to make sure they are ready for the booster seat. This usually happens when children are between 40 and 65 pounds. When your child is in a booster seat, they will be buckled in a belt-positioning booster seat until they can sit in a car and have the seat belt properly fit around them.
- Seat Belt Use: Finally, the last stage is having your child be able to sit in a vehicle and just wear a seat belt. To ensure this is done correctly, you need to make sure the belt properly lays across a child’s upper thighs and chest. This proper seat belt fit usually happens between the ages of nine and twelve years old, and when the child is about 4 feet 9 inches tall.
Was Your Child Injured in a Car Accident? Get the Legal Help You Need
When your child is injured in a motor vehicle crash, the ordeal can be traumatizing. In these situations, you need legal help that you can trust. Legal help that can answer the questions you have and provide you the legal options you can pursue. Fortunately, when you retain an experienced personal injury attorney, you can get the legal help you need. These lawyers can investigate your accident, gather critical evidence to substantiate your claims, negotiate with the insurance company for maximum compensation, and take your case to trial if needed. Do not wait any longer, contact the Charbonnet Law Firm, LLC today or call us at (504) 294-5118 and let our lawyers fight for the justice and damages you deserve.