New Car Seat Guidelines Could Slow Car Accident Injury Rates

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What to Do If Your Young Child is Involved in a Car Accident

infant car safety

New Car Seat Guidelines Could Slow Car Accident Injury Rates

Car crashes remain a leading cause of death for children with an average of 4 children under 14 dying each day in a tragic wreck. After significant changes and review of the protection car seats give children upon a crash, new guidelines on car seat use from the American Academy of Pediatrics pushes rear-facing car seats until a child reaches the height or weight limit for the seat, or as long as possible to keep children safest while riding in a motor vehicle. The new guidelines suggest:

  • Children should remain in rear-facing seats until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the seat manufacturer.
  • Once children reach the height or weight limit and shift to a forward-facing seat, they should use safety seats with harnesses for as long as possible, often up to 65 pounds.
  • When children exceed height or weight limits for those seats, they should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the lap and shoulder belts fit properly, often when the child has reached 4 feet 9 inches in height.

Infants and toddler age children may not be able to recognize or communicate pain or discomfort after being involved in a motor vehicle accident, so it is best for parents to always be using a child safety seat appropriate for their height and weight and following the new AAP guidelines to prevent harm in the event of a crash. Using the correct car safety seat or booster seat lowers the risk of child death or serious injury by more than 70 percent. Seat limits and directions for use should be reviewed in the car seat instruction manual before installing a seat and traveling with a child on any roadway.

What To Do If Your Young Child Is Involved in a Car Crash

If you, and your child, are in a car accident, or you believe a child seat failed in safety measures, you should seek medical attention for your young passenger immediately. These children are naturally prone to head injuries, back and neck injuries, and rib injuries because their muscles, bones and their body, are still growing and developing.

However, some children, especially infants, won’t be able to present symptoms of injury easily or other young children may be in shock and not be able to recognize or express their exact pain. These are some of the most common signs symptoms parents and caregivers can look out for in infants who are suffering from an injury after a car accident.

  • Excessive vomiting or diarrhea
  • More than usual irritability
  • Listless or limp limbs
  • Bruising or swelling
  • Unable to speak or make sounds
  • Seizure or convulsions
  • Changes in appearance
  • Changes in eating habits (including refusing to breastfeed or take a bottle normally)
  • Sleep disruptions
  • Crying excessively and frequently
  • Bulging of the soft spot on their head (less than 1 year)
  • Screaming during diaper changes or while removing clothing
  • Fever
  • Fast or labored breathing

If parents notice any kind of mood or behavioral changes that aren’t in line with your child’s normal demeanor even after an initial post-accident medical exam, call for help and have the child seen by a doctor or physician immediately. Injuries may present days to weeks beyond an accident event.

Contact a Michigan Child Injury Attorney

Car accident injuries can cause serious, life-threatening events and result in permanent irreversible damage to children. If a product like a car seat has failed and caused injuries to your loved one, or a car accident has left them injured and in pain, please call Lee Free at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form so we can answer any questions you may have. You pay nothing until we settle your family’s Michigan personal injury case. Let us help you today.