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The Top 5 Child Car Seat Safety Issues

Posted on: January 28, 2020 by Edwards & Patterson Law

child car seat safety

On June 5th of 2015, Governor Mary Fallin signed into law new legislation directed at better child car seat safety. That law took effect on 1 November 2015. Here are some of the changes.

This legislation had support from both political parties and many worthwhile nonprofit organizations across the state. In fact, Democratic State Representative Inman who wrote the bill said, “While we are required to buckle up, we aren’t required to buckle them up in a way that would save their lives.” Why was Rep. Inman so concerned about child car seat safety? Per the Tulsa Safe Kid Coalition, 73 percent of all child safety seats are used or installed incorrectly.

What the Law Attempts to Correct

Several elements that can protect our children were previously left unaddressed and are now mandatory, such as:

  • Rear-facing child safety seat for infants under two years of age
  • Booster seat requirements for children four to eight years of age
  • A requirement to ride in the back seat until age 13

These laws have shown to reduce injuries and death to infants and toddlers. The next thing is to get parents to use child car seat safety.

The Top 5 Child Car Seat Safety Issues:

Issue #1 Loose Installation

Many car safety seats are installed so loose these cannot protect the child as they are designed to do in an accident. If you can move your child’s safety seat more than one inch in any direction it is not properly installed. The seatbelts in cars built before 1996 were not designed for child car safety seats and will not lock properly without special attention. One person should hold the car seat in place firmly against the seat while another pulls the buckle through and snaps it in place.

Issue #2 Infants Are Facing Forward

Although most infant child safety seats were designed to face rearward until the child is two, many parents become frustrated by the inability of the nondriving parent to attend to the child due to the seat facing the rear of the vehicle and turn the safety seat before the infant is ready. Children should be left facing the rear of the vehicle for as long as possible, even though the law states just until 2 years of age.

Issue #3 Infant’s Harnessed Inside the Safety Seat Loosely

If the harness is not tight and secure the infant can be thrown out of the safety seat in an accident, ensure your baby is safe and secure by tightening their harness. We understand you are busy, but take a few second to check the harness. It could save your baby’s life.

Issue #4 The Retainer Clip Used Incorrectly

Be sure to check the user’s manual of your child’s safety seat and check that the clip is positioned at chest level to ensure the harness strap is in the right place to protect your baby.

Issue #5 Harness Straps in the Rear-Facing Position After the Seat Has Been Turned

Many parents neglect to change or do not know of the requirement to change the slots for the harness when they change the seat from rear-facing to front-facing. Most car seats are designed so the lower slots are used for rear-facing and the upper slots are used for front-facing.

Always check your user’s manual for correct installation to ensure proper restraint of your infants and toddlers. Child car seat safety is something that should be checked before you move your car.

If you have doubts about the installation of your child’s car safety seat or its installation, you can check the website for the FREE scheduled car safety seat inspections by Tulsa Safe Kids Organization or call 918-494-8256.

Child Car Seat Safety & Product Liability

If you believe you did everything correctly and your child was still injured in an auto crash due to a faulty child car seat, contact the professionals at Edwards & Patterson for a free appointment to review your case. Although proving product liability can be tough, we will hire investigators to examine the specifics pertaining to your child’s injury. Our job will be much easier if you had your child safety seat inspected and have certification. Even if we find that product liability was not the cause of your child’s injury but improper installation, we can still negotiate a settlement with the at-fault driver or your insurance company. Why not give us a call today? 877-402-7308.

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