Proper Child Restraints Help Prevent Brain Injury During Florida Car Accidents

March 8th, 2011

The declining number of children killed in car accidents each year is not yet reason enough to celebrate. Unfortunately, car accidents remain the leading cause of death for children ages 3 to 14, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Our Florida car accident attorneys know the risks of Traumatic Brain Injury that children face as the result of an auto accident. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports car accidents are the leading cause of brain injuries after fall accidents. And car crashes are the leading cause of TBI-related deaths in the United States. Your choice of car seats or child-restraint devices can have a major impact on your child’s ability to survive a car accident.

In 2009, more than 193,000 children under the age of 14 were seriously injured in auto accidents. A total of 1,314 did not survive their injuries.

Florida car accidents claimed the lives of 70 children – more than anywhere in the nation except California and Texas. Many TBI cases occur from contact with windshields, door posts or outside objects as a direct result of a child not being properly fastened into a vehicle. While the total number of children who are killed or injured in car accident has declined, four children a day are killed and nearly 500 are seriously injured. Clearly, we cannot be satisfied with a mere reduction of carnage.

Nearly 10,000 lives have been saved by child-restraint systems since 1975. Still, in about one-third of fatal accidents, a child is completely unrestrained. C-Span reports 100 percent compliance with seat-belt and child-restraint laws would have saved the lives of 63 children in 2009 – or more than one a week.

Government data shows young children are most likely to be protected, while children are at higher risk for being improperly restrained as they grow older. Children should be in a back seat, rear-facing system until they are at least a year old or 20 pounds. They should then remain in a back seat, forward-facing system until they outgrow the limits of the seat. Not until the age of 8, or a height of 4’ 9” should they be allowed to sit in a rear seat with only an adult seat belt for protection.

Of course, not all systems are created equally. The U.S. Department of Transportation provides a wealth of information on safety-seat ratings, proper installation and use, recalls, and other data designed to help you and your family keep your child safe from a traumatic brain injury or other trauma resulting from a car accident.

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