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National Child Passenger Safety Week and Car Seat Protection

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Posted on Sep 04, 2018

One of the hardest things about being a parent is accepting that you can’t always keep your child safe from other people’s negligence. You can’t prevent every hurt feeling or every serious injury, but you can take steps to protect your child from the negligence of other drivers.

Car accidents are a leading cause of death and injury for children in the United States. While you can’t keep another driver from getting behind the wheel while drunk, drowsy, distracted, or otherwise negligent, you can take steps to protect your child in case a collision does occur.

National Child Passenger Safety Week Is the Perfect Time to Make Sure Your Child is In the Right Car Seat or Seat Belt

The State of Iowa has child restraint laws and the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommendations to keep your child safe in the car. These laws and recommendations include:

Type of Restraint

Iowa Law

American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendation

Rear-Facing Car Seat

Infants under age one and weighing under 20 pounds.

Children under age two or until they reach maximum weight or height for the car seat.

Forward-Facing Car Seat

Children ages 1-6 must be in a forward facing car seat or booster seat.

Toddlers and preschoolers who have outgrown their rear-facing car seat should use forward-facing car seats until they reach the maximum weight or height for the car seat.

Booster Seat

Children ages 1-6 must be in a forward facing car seat or booster seat.

Children who outgrow their forward-facing car seat should be in booster seats until they reach 4 feet 9 inches in height which typically happens between ages 8-12.

Seat Belt

Children ages 6-18 must be in a child restraint seat or a seat belt.

All children who outgrow child safety seats should wear seat belts. Additionally, children should not ride in the front seat until at least age 13.

This year National Child Passenger Safety Week will be held September 23-29, 2018. During this week, it is important to make sure that you have the right type of restraint for your child and that it is used correctly. If you want to make sure that your child’s car seat is properly installed, there will be a car seat check-up event held at the Children and Families of Iowa Child Development Center, 801 Forest Ave, Des Moines, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. on September 27, 2018. Some police departments and baby supply stores may also offer free car seat installation checks.

What to Do If You’re in a Car Crash With Your Child

Even if your child was in a proper car seat or seat belt at the time of the collision, there are a few things that you should do after any car crash with a child. These things include:

  • Getting your child appropriate medical care. Even if your child doesn’t show immediate symptoms of an injury, it is important to make sure that your child sees a doctor. Your child may be too young to articulate pain or injury or your child may suffer an injury that does not have immediate symptoms.
  • Replacing the car seat. Car seats should be replaced after every accident so that your child is safe in any subsequent crash.
  • Contacting a lawyer. An attorney can investigate what happened and advocate for your child’s recovery of damages.

We hope that your child is never hurt in a car wreck. However, if your child is injured by another driver, please know that we are here to fight for your child’s full and fair recovery.

 

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham

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