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Safety Tips to Consider When Transitioning Kids From Car Seats to Seat Belts

Our attorneys care greatly about the safety and well-being of children on the roads and fight for innocent young victims who have suffered personal injuries due to others’ negligence. By defending the rights of minors, we hope to draw attention to safety issues in order to prevent future accidents and save others from serious personal injuries. It is for this reason that we also like to bring news and guidelines regarding child safety to our readers.

According to an article by Cars.com, there are several things to keep in mind when you transition your young child out of car seats and into adult sized seat belts. Their safety is important, as your child is in a transition stage where they have outgrown car seats but still may be somewhat small for the regular seats and belt in the vehicle that adult passengers use. For that reason, it is important to do all you can to keep your young passenger free from harm’s way.

There is a proper height and age at which children can move from using car seats to exclusively using seat belts. When a child is between 8 to 12 years old, and is at least 4 feet 9 inches tall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that children can begin using seat belts in the back seat of the vehicle. Children should continue to ride in the backseat of the car until they reach 13 years of age because the impact of front seat air bags can seriously injure or kill a young person, especially those under 80 pounds.

When children begin exclusively using seat belts, it is important to make sure that these new passengers are using the belts correctly. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children should be tall enough to sit without slouching their backs, that their knees naturally bend over the seat, that the lap portion of the belt sit snugly on the hips and not the stomach, and that the shoulder portion of the belt lie across the chest and shoulder area and not the neck or face. Furthermore, not only should a driver ensure that the belt properly fits the child, but should also teach the child how to wear the belt. Teach children to wear the seat belt across the body, and to never tuck it under the arm or behind the neck.

Sometimes injuries and accidents still happen due to other negligent drivers, no matter how safe we try to keep our children in the car. Although these safety guidelines can reduce the potential for and severity of injury, the steps we take to keep children safe unfortunately do not stop other from being reckless drivers. If a young person in your family has suffered personal injuries in a motor vehicle accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you may be able to file a lawsuit on behalf of this minor and recover compensation for their injuries and suffering. Contact our firm today for a free consultation, and we would be happy to discuss your potential case with you.