Car Accidents in Portland and Elsewhere Kill Too Many Child Passengers Annually

Experts estimate that about 75 percent of child passengers are improperly restrained in car seats and booster seats. It is critical for parents to know how to properly buckle in child passengers and for them to do so during every car ride. Risk of child injury or death in the event of a car accident in Portland and elsewhere decrease by more than 70 percent if he or she is buckled in correctly.
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Our Portland car accident attorneys understand that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released new recommendations for children and car seats last year. Unfortunately, many parents did not seize these new recommendations and in fact continue to improperly seat their children in motor vehicles. To help to spread the word about child car seats, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) launched a new website to offer parents with access to important child passenger safety (CPS) tips.

The new website, “Car Seat Safety for Kids” offers newly released videos regarding the 2011 child seat recommendations from the AAP. In addition to educating parents about the proper ways to buckle children in, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) lists car seat inspection locations nationwide. There are 31 child car seat inspection locations in Maine. Parents are urged to visit one of these sites to help ensure that their children are safe when traveling in a motor vehicle.

The new recommendations from the AAP state that children under the age of 4 should remain in rear-facing car seats. Once a child has exceeded their car seat’s height and weight limitations, they should be placed in a forward-facing car safety seat. It is important for children to stay in these rear-facing car seats for as long as possible.

When a child exceeds the size limits of a rear-facing car seat, it’s time for them to move to a forward-facing seat. This seat should have a harness and children should be kept in these seats for as long as possible.

Once your child exceeds the height and weight limits for a forward-facing seat, it’s time for them to move to a booster seat. Booster seats allow a small child to fit correctly with an adult seat belt. When riding in these seats, make sure that the bottom part of the seat belt fits snugly across your child’s upper thighs and that the top part of it fits across the chest and not on the neck. Children riding in booster seats should always ride in the back seat of the car and away from an active air bag.

In Maine, two children under the age of 14-years-old died in car accidents in 2008.

Car accidents continue to be the number of cause of death for individuals aged 3- to 14-years old. Parents are urged to register their child’s car seat and to sign up to receive notifications on car seat defects and recalls.

Contact the experienced injury lawyers at Peter Thompson & Associates if you or your child has been injured in a car accident in Bangor, Portland or in any of the surrounding areas. Call 1-800-804-2004 to make a free appointment to speak to an attorney about your case.

More Blog Entries:

Wicked Winter Weather Increasing Risks for Car Accidents in Bangor and Elsewhere, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, January 12, 2012

Officers Crackdown on Texting Teens to Reduce Risks of Car Accidents in Maine, Maine Injury Lawyer Blog, December 8, 2011