Children grow very quickly, and as they get bigger, you may be wondering if they are in the correct car seat. It is very important for their safety to make sure you know that they are in the correct car seat, so that in the event of an unfortunate car accident they are protected as best as possible from impact.
Car Seat and Booster Seats Are Required by Florida Law
- Under Florida law, children 5 and under must be secured in a crash-tested, federally approved car or booster seat.
- From birth to age 3 children are required by state law to be in a car seat that is either a separate infant carrier or integrated car seat.
- Children ages 4-5 are required to be in a federally-approved car seat or booster seat.
- Deployed front seat airbags can be harmful to children, so until a child is 13 or older, it is recommended they ride in the back seat.
According to the NHTSA:
- In 2017, the lives of 325 children under the age of 5 were saved by car seats
- In 2020, 42% of children killed in car accidents were unrestrained
- Almost half (46%) of car and booster seats are used incorrectly
Does Your Car or Booster Seat Fit Your Child?
As children grow, their car seat needs change. It is important to make sure that your child is in a car or booster seat that fits their size and age. In general, there are 3 types of car seats:
- Rear-facing: These are best for newborns and young children and feature a harness. In the event of a crash, the seat cradles the child and moves with them to reduce any impact on a child’s neck and spinal cord.
- Forward-facing: This seat features a harness and tether that helps restrict any forward movement in the event of a crash.
- Booster seat: This seat raises a child up so that the car’s seat belt fits property over a child’s chest, chips, and body.
You should always make sure your child fits the parameters of a manufacturer’s height and weight limits for a car or booster seat. If you are still unsure, you can use the NHTSA’s car seat finder to help you select a seat that is best. These recommendations are all based on your child’s age and size.
Is Your Car Seat Installed Properly?
Once you have a proper-fitting car or booster seat for your child, you should make sure that it is installed into your vehicle correctly. The NHTSA has some great resources available to help show you proper car seat installation.
You can also have your car or booster seat checked for free by a certified safety technician in your community. They can make sure your car or booster seats are installed correctly and that you know how to use and install a car seat on your own for future. You can enter your zip code here and find a technician near you now.
Were You Injured in a Crash with Children in the Car? We Can Help.
Even the most careful drivers can be injured in a car accident. If you or your children were harmed in a car crash, our Florida Auto Accident Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can work with you to hold the at-fault driver responsible and get you the compensation you need for a speedy recovery. Call us now at 866-608-5529 or contact us online 24/7 to request a free consultation. We have offices in Spring Hill, New Port Richey, St. Petersburg, Inverness, Crystal River, Bushnell, The Villages, Gainesville, Tampa, Boca Raton, and Miami Beach.