New Car Seat Guidelines From Your South Florida Car Accident Lawyers
02/03/2012

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released new guidelines for car seat usage. These guidelines are based on the child’s age, as opposed to the previous guidelines, which were based on the type of car seat. In order to best protect children in the event of a car accident, your South Florida car accident attorney advises all parents to educate themselves about these new guidelines and put the recommendations into practice as soon as possible.

Online PR News – 03-February-2012 – – MIAMI, FLORIDA – The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released new guidelines for car seat usage. These guidelines are based on the child’s age, as opposed to the previous guidelines, which were based on the type of car seat. In order to best protect children in the event of a car accident, your South Florida car accident attorney advises all parents to educate themselves about these new guidelines and put the recommendations into practice as soon as possible.
Previously, experts recommended that infants and toddlers remain in rear-facing car seats until they reached a weight of 20 pounds or the age of 12 months, at a minimum. Therefore, parents often marked a milestone on their child’s first birthday by turning around the child’s car seat to face the front of the vehicle. Today, the AAP and NHTSA recommend that parents keep children in rear-facing car seats until they have reached the maximum height and weight limits for these car seats or until they have reached age 3, whichever occurs first. The trend here is to delay switching the direction of the car seat as long as possible so as to better protect and support a small child’s head, neck, and spine if a collision should occur. In general, a rear-facing car seat will better distribute the force of the collision over the child’s entire body, which lessens the potential for injuries.
Furthermore, once a parent places a child in a front-facing car seat, the child should remain in that seat until he or she reaches the maximum height and weight limits for the car seat or until the child reaches 7, whichever occurs first. After the child turns seven or reaches those height and weight limits, parents should require the child to ride in a seat belt-positioning booster seat until age 12 or until the child reaches a sufficient height for the seat belt to fit correctly. This is generally a height of about 4’9”. These new guidelines, the AAP and NHTSA contend, will provide the best protection for a larger child while riding in a vehicle.
While rates of child fatalities in motor vehicle accidents have dropped in recent years, car accident injuries are still the leading cause of death for children over the age of four. As a result, your South Florida car accident lawyers recommend that parents should take care to follow the new AAP and NHTSA guidelines for car seat usage in order to best prevent a car accident from having fatal consequences.
If you or your child has suffered injury in a motor vehicle collision, you should get legal advice about your rights to compensation from an experienced South Florid car accident attorney. Contact the law firm of Reifkind & Thompson today at 1-800-HURT-NOW, or visit us online at www.rntlaw.com.