NEW YORK – When you’re a parent, you aren’t just making decision for yourself (what to wear, what to eat), you’re also trying to make the best decisions for your child. One of the decisions parents have to make is choosing the right car seat. In some cases, it can make the difference.
For years, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that children be placed in rear-facing car seats until they’re two years old. However, new studies suggest children should stay in car seats much longer, at least until they outgrow it.
A Queens car accident lawyer at Cellino & Barnes says car crashes are the top cause of serious injury to children under the age of four and a properly installed car seat could help reduce your child’s risk.
“Parents never expect an accident to happen to them but every year, hundreds of children are hurt in Queens,” car accident lawyer Ross Cellino said. “These car crashes aren’t the child’s fault but they can suffer devastating injuries as a result of a collision and for most toddlers, a rear-facing car seat offers the most protection.”
The most common injuries children suffer in crashes stem from spine and neck trauma. In many cases, this is the result of whiplash; when a child’s head is suddenly jolted forward due to the impact of a car crash.
A rear-facing car seat minimizes that sudden movement, protecting a toddler’s undeveloped muscles and bones.
“Rear-facing car seats do a great job of distributing the force of a crash,” Cellino said. “Depending on the severity of the collision, a child could still be injured but the right car seat can certainly make a difference.”
Here’s how much of a difference it can make: according to a study published in 2007, toddlers under 2 years old are 75 percent less likely to be severely injured in a crash if they’re in a properly installed rear-facing car seat.
Many other nations are taking notice of the statistics.
“In other countries, children remain in rear-facing car seats until they’re four or even five years old,” Cellino said. “In fact, some of those countries don’t even sell forward-facing car seats for toddlers.”
Take Sweden for example; according to the International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group, 144 Swedes were killed in car accidents in 2013. Only two percent of those fatalities were young children. In the US, over 6 percent of the passengers killed in auto wrecks were children under the age of 9.
Queens car accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes say some of the blame falls into the hands of manufacturers who know about these statistics but continue marketing forward-facing car seats to new parents. Safety advocates say the battle however, starts at home: if parents didn’t only bought rear-facing seats, there wouldn’t be a market for forward-facing ones.
Any new mom or dad can look at the numbers and come to the right decision: a rear-facing car seat is the way to go, as long as your child fits.
Of course, injuries are never 100 percent preventable in a car crash, depending on the severity of it. If your child has been injured in a collision, contact the Queens car accident attorneys at Cellino & Barnes for a free case evaluation.
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