All of September is National Child Passenger Safety Month. Each year agencies and organizations around the country take this opportunity to help educate and promote kids’ safety in vehicles.
The main emphasis takes place this week (September 15-21). It is sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The goal is to make sure your child is in the correct car seat, that it’s properly installed and used, and that it’s registered with its manufacturer to ensure you receive important safety updates.
When installed correctly, car seats can reduce the risk of fatal injury in a crash by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers.
Vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children. From 2013 to 2017, there were 3,313 children under 13 killed while riding in passenger vehicles. But, about 37 percent of those children killed in 2017 were not buckled at all.
According to Indiana State Law, until children reach eight years old, they must be secured in a restraint system that fits the car seat manufacturer’s specifications and complies with United States Department of Transportation Standards.
Indiana child car seat laws
- Infants below the age of one and less than 20 pounds need to be placed in a rear-facing safety restraint.
- Toddlers over the age of one can only transition to a forward-facing safety restraint if they weigh more than 20 pounds. NOTE: Children are 5 TIMES as safe in a rear facing car seat until age 2.
- Although children can legally transition to a booster seat after they reach 30 pounds, Indiana troopers recommend waiting until they weigh 40 pounds.
- Regardless of height and weight, Indiana law requires children to be placed in an appropriate safety harness until they are eight years or older.
- Indiana law enforcement encourages parents to follow the safety seat manufacturers’ instructions for height and weight limits.
Indiana State Police would like to remind parents and others who transport children the following safety tips:
- Child safety seats must be properly secured to the vehicles seat belt or LATCH system and should not move side to side or forward more than one inch.
- Children should stay rear-facing until one-year of age and 20 lbs.
- The retainer clip that connects the two shoulder harness straps must be kept at the child’s armpit level.
- Harness straps must be kept snug.
The family of attorneys at Tauber Law Offices has their own kids and grandchildren. We know there is hardly anything more important than ensuring their safety.
We are also saddened when a defective product, such as an infant car seat causes serious injury or even death. Following the aforementioned laws and safety tips is a good start.
Tauber Law Offices also strongly urge parents to research the best car seats on the market. Don’t buy one used unless you are completely sure that it matches specific safety guidelines.
If you do feel that your car seat is responsible for personal injury to your child, we would want to listen to your story to determine if you have a case. Contact us anytime for a free consultation.
The safety of your family is our first priority at Tauber Law Offices.