Infant safety seats aren’t just a way of getting babies in and out of vehicles. While car seats can help transport kids from the house to the car, a car seat is more than that. Car seats can protect children in the event of a Florida car crash. However, many parents don’t really know that much about car seats and how to make sure to provide the proper fit for their children.

Here are some things parents need to consider before a crash:

  • Type of car seat. While there are rear-facing and forward-facing car seats, it is best to put an infant in a rear-facing car seat. Not only is it the law in Florida, but research shows that rear-facing children are far better protected in crashes than forward-facing children.
  • Chest clip. Parents need to make sure they understand where the chest clip should be placed on their child. The clip is there to keep the straps on an infant’s shoulders. For this reason, it should be placed at armpit level and not over the stomach. If the clip isn’t in the proper place, the straps may slip off a baby’s shoulders in the event of a wreck.
  • Harness. Parents should get a car seat that has a five-point harness and that has many harness slots in the back of the seat. This will provide parents with the ability to make sure the straps come through the back of the seat at the proper height. In general, straps should have a snug fit and come out at or below the infant’s shoulders to give the baby the best protection.
  • Handle. The car seat handle should curve around the top of the seat or under the seat and not be left in the upright carrying position when the child is in the car. Parents should check the instructions from the car seat manufacturer to make sure they know where the handle should be placed during travel.
  • Level indicators. Most car seat bases have some sort of indicator to show parents when the car seat is level. It is important that parents check this out on level ground. Also, parents of newborns need to keep in mind that a baby in a rear-facing car seat should be at a 45 degree angle to keep his or her air passage open.
  • Add-ons. It is never recommended that parents use any other add-on product such as a head support cushion that didn’t come with the car seat. Don’t use anything in a car seat that didn’t come in the box from the manufacturer.

It is important that the car seat base is installed tightly so that the seat shouldn’t move more than one inch in either direction. Because the safety of kids should be a huge concern, parents are urged to get their car seats inspected before bringing their newborns home from the hospital. Because most parents misuse car seats and because motor vehicle crashes in Florida and nationwide are still the number one killer of children, it is critical that parents have a certified child passenger safety technician inspect the car seat.

If you or your children have been injured in a car crash in Broward County, you should find out your legal rights from a skilled personal injury lawyer. Contact the Law Office of David Benenfeld today for a free consultation at [number type=”2″] or [number type=”1″].