Child Car Safety — Takes a U-Turn

The New York Times and other news services reported last month on a major turn-around for parents and caregivers of young children with regard to car safety. The California Injury Attorney Blog often focuses on child safety and accident avoidance and wants to ensure that all parents and others are aware of the new recommendations that pediatricians have recently issued for infants and toddlers.

The new recommendation is that children should ride in rear-facing car seats until the age of two — twice as long as was previously recommended. The prior recommendation was that infants could move to front-facing car seats at one year or 20 pounds.

The journal Pediatrics published the safety recommendation which is supported by research that found kids under the age of two years are 75% less like to die or suffer serious injury when they are seated facing the rear. Parents and caregivers can consult the safety chart on the site for specific information and guidelines.

The evidence is in – when infants and toddlers sit rear-facing, head, neck and spine injuries are less likely and/ or severe – especially when the impact is from the front of the vehicle. This is because sitting facing the rear, the force of impact is spread throughout the body.

When forward-facing seats are used correctly they also provide good protection. But unfortunately, many car seats are installed or used incorrectly which diminishes the protection.

Many forward-facing car seats are convertible and can be safely turned to the rear. Contact your manufacturer to determine whether that is the case with your child’s car seat. But once your child has been facing forward, reversing that might not be so easy. We highly recommend that parents and caregivers take this safety measure to protect their little ones.

The California injury attorneys of Hersh & Hersh take pride in their preeminent work in child safety and infant protection. We have been at the forefront of some of the largest crib and bassinette recalls in United States history and have represented children and their families from around the nation in tragic matters such as wrongful death, as well as serious accident and injury cases. Please contact our law firm to talk with one of our compassionate lawyers, dedicated to the health and well-being of infants and children.