Middle TN Mother Says Car Seat Check Helped Protect Her Daughter
A near head-on collision in Millersville could have led to serious injuries for a young girl, but a car seat inspection and reinstallation performed by the Springfield Fire Department just minutes prior to the close call helped protect the girl from harm.
WKRN.com reports that a nurse told the girl’s mother that she should go to a hospital or fire department if she had ever questions or issues with her daughter’s car seat. The mother later found out that her daughter’s car seat straps were loose, so she contacted the Springfield Fire Department last Saturday.
When she arrived at the SPD, firefighters helped her tighten the straps and get the car seat back in good working condition. But immediately after leaving the fire department, she encountered a vehicle that crossed all four lanes of traffic and began heading directly in her direction.
The mother slammed on her brakes, and the other car swerved to avoid a collision at the last second. She told reporters that if the car seat hadn’t been properly installed and tightened by the firefighters at the SPD, her daughter could have slid out of her seat and been seriously injured when she slammed on her brakes.
Child Safety Seat Checklist for Parents
Car seats are highly effective at protecting children from harm in the event of car accidents, but they’re only truly effective when they are installed properly and are used in the correct manner for a child’s age and size.
Safe Kids Worldwide, a division of the Children’s National Health System, published this checklist of information that all parents should follow when purchasing car seats or placing their children in car seats:
- Make sure your child has the right car seat.
A car seat that’s effective at protecting the life of a 2-year-old may not be effective at protecting the same child one year or even six months later. Check the labels on any car seats that you buy to verify the appropriate age, weight, and height for each seat. After your child outgrows the seat, buy him or her a new seat right away.
- Make sure your child is seated in the right place.
Because airbags can pose threats to small children, all kids should ride in the backseat until they are at least 13 years old—even if they have outgrown booster seats prior to reaching that age.
- Make sure your child is facing the right direction.
Infants and children up to the age of 2 should always ride in rear-facing car seats for maximum protection and safety. After they have outgrown rear-facing car seats, children can graduate to forward-facing car seats.
- Make sure your child’s car seat doesn’t move more than one inch.
The point of car seats is to keep your children properly restrained in the event of an accident. If the seat straps become loose, your child can be at serious risk of sliding out of his or her car seat. Shake your child’s car seat after installation. If it moves more than one inch, it needs to be tightened or properly installed.
- Make sure your child’s car seat isn’t used or damaged in any way.
Hand-me-down clothing and toys can be a great money saver for parents, but you should never use a second-hand car seat—especially if you don’t know its history. Car seats that have been involved in previous accidents may be damaged and be much less effective at protecting children in the event of crashes.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville auto accident attorneys know that every parent’s biggest priority is protecting their children, especially when they’re driving them around town or to and from school.
Children should be properly restrained their entire lives, but how they’re restrained from birth until the age of 13 is important because it can change from year to year. Placing your child in a height and weight-appropriate safety seat is vital, but it’s just as important to make sure that it’s properly installed.
If your child was injured in an auto accident that was caused by another person’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a claim for compensation. To find out how our legal team can help you recover compensation for your child’s medical bills and pain and suffering, get in touch with us today. Just dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form.