Each fall, Beasley Allen hosts Seat Check Saturday, a free event that allows parents and caregivers to have their child passenger safety seats inspected by certified technicians so they can be sure they are using the correct size for their child, and that the seat is installed correctly. The firm has seen too many families devastated when their child is seriously injured, or even killed, because of a car crash. The leading cause of death among children in the U.S. is motor vehicle injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 663 children 12 years old and younger died in motor vehicle crashes in 2015. Nearly 132,000 were also injured in motor vehicle crashes that year.

And, while many automatically identify child car seats as protecting the very youngest of passengers, older children are better protected when riding in size-appropriate restraints, as well.

When children outgrow their forward-facing car seat by reaching the maximum height or weight limit, usually around 5 years old, the CDC recommends buckling them in “a belt positioning booster seat until [adult] seat belts fit properly” and always in the back seat. Booster seats reduce the risk of serious injury in 4- to 8-year-olds by 45 percent. They lift a child up so that the adult seat belt fits safely across the strong bony parts of the body and prevents the restraints from injuring soft vulnerable areas and possibly vital organs. The lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt lays across the chest.

This is the subject of Car Safety Now’s ‘Boost ‘Em in the Back Seat!’ campaign. A four-minute awareness video, produced by the group, sends a powerful warning to parents and child caregivers about “the dangers prematurely transitioning children to an adult seat belt.” The American Automobile Association (AAA) agrees and recommends using a booster seat “until a child is at least 4’9″ and between 8 and 12 years old.” The travel organization encourages parents and others caring for children not to rush them, because with each transition their protection is reduced.

Sources:
Beasley Allen
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Car Safety Now
American Automobile Association (AAA)



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