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Take Care During Child Passenger Safety Week

September 2012

Every day, incorrectly installed child restraints leave children vulnerable to injury in the case of an auto accident. Surveys conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that most mistakes made by parents when installing child restraints in a vehicle are related to the areas listed below.

  • The wrong slot is used for the harness. There are several slots located on a child restraint system that are intended to be repositioned according to the height of the child. Correct placement of the harness is dependent upon using the appropriate slot.
  • The clip located on a harness system that is intended to go across the chest of the child is placed level with the abdomen. Maximum effectiveness of the harness requires the clip to be placed high and tight on the chest.
  • The child restraint device is able to be moved two inches in any direction. Car seats that are correctly installed should not be able to move more than one inch in any direction.
  • Harnesses are left too loose on the child. Proper use of a harness on a child restraint device requires there to be no slack between the child and the harness. While many parents worry that a harness is too tight, keeping the harness tight is essential to maximize the safety of a child while riding in a vehicle. The harness should not have enough excess material to allow a person to pinch loose material.
  • Seat belts are cutting across the face or neck of the child and riding up on the abdomen. Children may not be big enough to have a seat belt properly fit low across their waist and across the shoulder. A booster seat is most likely needed if a seat belt does not properly restrain a child.

Parents are reminded that children are safest in the back seat prior to reaching the age of 13. Ensure the safety of a child riding in a vehicle by purchasing a car seat with a harness system that is appropriate for the height, weight and age of the child.

Anyone who has been injured in an auto accident or has a loved one who has been killed in an auto accident should contact Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben for legal advice. The personal injury attorneys in Minneapolis are part of a team of experienced professionals who can help ease the financial burden associated with medical bills and final expenses that may be incurred following a serious auto accident. Call (612) 377-7777 or 1-800-752-4265 (toll free) for a free consultation today.

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