Most Oklahoma parents of young children know that using car seats to transport children is required in their state. While a majority of parents comply with the law and make their small children ride in car seats, many do not install the seats correctly in their vehicles. Certain mistakes can increase the risks of injury in an accident.
How common are car seat mistakes?
According to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign Car Seat Checkups, an estimated 85% of vehicles with car seats installed are found to have them installed incorrectly during stops. Children can suffer serious injuries or be killed in motor vehicle accidents when their car seats are not installed or used correctly.
Most common types of mistakes
Parents might make a variety of different types of mistakes with car seats. People who consider used ones should carefully research before purchasing them. They should make sure the seats are not expired, haven’t been recalled, do not have any missing parts, and have not been in a car crash. When installing a car seat, people should avoid the following mistakes:
- Placing the car seat in the front seat in front of an airbag
- Turning the car seat facing forward for children under 20 pounds and less than 2 years old
- Failing to install the car seat tightly enough with no more than one inch of moving room
- Placing the harness strap incorrectly
- Failing to engage the locking clip correctly
- Reclining a rear-facing car seat at an angle at which the child’s head flops forward
- Not securing the seatbelt and straps tightly around the child
Parents use car seats to protect their young children. When a child is seriously injured in an accident, it can be devastating. Making sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing a car seat and properly securing a child in the seat might help to prevent serious car accident injuries.