Keeping your children safe when on the road involves weighing a number of competing concerns. Parents can spend weeks or months debating the different options for child safety restraints, trying to find the car seat with the best possible crash rating. Now, a new study has offered additional information on the risk of injury when using rear-facing car seats for infants, pointing out the need for improved car safety restraints for small children.
The study, published in the Journal of Traffic Injury Prevention, examined the effects of rear-end crashes on infants restrained in rear-facing car seats, using either the car’s lower “LATCH” anchors or the car’s seat belts to secure the car seat. The study found that when a car was involved in a rear-end crash, infants’ rear-facing seats were prone to tipping forward, throwing the infant into the seat back in front of the seat, which caused serious head trauma to the child. The researchers found that this risk of head trauma was greater when the lower LATCH anchors were used, rather than the car’s seat belts.
While rear-facing seat technology stands to be improved to promote greater safety, the researchers involved in the aforementioned study caution parents that rear-facing safety seats remain the best way to ensure infant safety in the event of a crash. The American Association on Pediatrics has recommended since 2010 that infants two years of age or under be restrained in a rear-facing safety seat, and a small number of states legally requires that parents use rear-facing seats when transporting infants. The researchers of the rear-facing seat study have recommended that the safety of these seats would be improved with the use of an additional tether that came from the car’s floor, a style of securing a rear-facing seat that cars in some other countries use with great success.
Mississippi law requires that children under 7 years of age are somehow restrained when riding in a vehicle. Children who are 4 or more years old, but under 7, and who weigh under 65 lbs and are shorter than 57 inches, should be restrained with a booster seat and the car’s built-in seat belt. Children under 4 years of age should be in an appropriate child restraint seat for their size under the law. While the use of a rear-facing seat isn’t legally required in Mississippi, it is recommended for infants age 2 or younger by the Mississippi State Department of Health.
If your child has been injured in a Biloxi car accident and you wish to obtain experienced legal assistance to ensure you’re fully compensated for their injuries, contact skilled personal injury attorney Corban Gunn for a free consultation on your possible lawsuit, at 228.284.6805.
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