Most parents believe their child’s car seat will protect him or her in the event of an accident. However, despite the presence of a safety-rated seat, dangers may still exist. Consumer Reports notes that nearly 50% of child car seats are installed incorrectly, which can lead to serious injury or death of the occupant.
If you have car seats installed in your vehicle, you can reduce your child’s risk of injury by remaining aware of what may happen if these safety devices are used incorrectly.
During a crash, people and objects are usually thrown forward or sideways, depending on the point of impact. When a car seat is not installed properly, the force of the crash could eject it and the child, causing serious injury or death. When you install a car seat, it is important to ensure all straps and buckles are in good working order and secured according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
The buckling system in a car seat is designed to prevent your child from being thrown forward or being ejected from the seat in case of an accident. However, improper adjustment of the shoulder and lap restraints may cause them to fit too loosely. While your child may remain in the seat during the crash, loose straps may cause him or her to move sharply with the impact, causing neck or spinal trauma.
Depending on the type of child car seat you purchase, it includes either a three or five-point harness system. Failing to use each harness correctly could cause ejection during an accident, resulting in head injuries.
Car accidents are the major cause of death for children in the United States. You can protect your child by reducing the risk of injury caused by a car seat that is not properly installed.