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Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old.  In many cases, the faulty design of a child car seat, along with improperly restrained children can significantly contribute to this problem.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than half of parents fail to properly install baby seats.

Engineers are working hard to ensure that cars and car seats are designed to keep kids as safe as possible.  Federal regulations impose strict standards on child car seat manufacturers.  Still, it is estimated that as many as ten million car seats have been recalled by the manufacturer in the last ten years.  Parts of the child safety seat that may fail due to faulty design or manufacture are padding, shell design, buckles and harnesses.  A child may be thrown from the seat during a collision if any of these items break causing serious injury to the child.

Following are some tips that can improve the safety of your child:

  • Use rear-facing car seats in the back seat of the car for younger children and weighing less than 20 pounds.
  • All children under 12 years old should ride in the back seat of the car to avoid injury from air bag release.
  • Always secure children with both a lap and shoulder belt.
  • Replace car seats that have been in a crash or have broken parts.
  • Buy a used car seat only if you know its full crash history.
  • Register your car seat to ensure that you are promptly notified about future recalls.

Road injuries are the leading cause of preventable deaths and injuries to children in the United States.  Correctly used child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent.  A manufacturer is liable for a faulty product but as a parent, you need to do your part to keep your kids safe in your car.  Always read the car seat installation instructions, follow them carefully and then test the seat to ensure that it has been properly installed.


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