Fort Myers Car Accident Highlights Importance of Car Seat Safety

by Carmen Dellutri on March 7, 2012

Cape Coral accident lawyerLate last month, a 2-year-old girl from Cape Coral was killed in a Fort Myers car accident when she was ejected from the vehicle. According to police, the toddler was sitting in a car seat in the front passenger side of the vehicle. However, the car seat was not anchored to the car, and the toddler was not harnessed in the seat.

This tragic accident highlights the importance of properly using child safety seats. As Fort Myers accident attorneys, we encourage parents to take the following steps to ensure they are using their child’s car seat properly.

When using an infant or convertible seat:

  • Use your baby’s car seat rear-facing and semi-reclined no more than 45 degrees, so the baby’s head stays in contact with the seat and the baby’s airway stays open. Read the car seat instructions.
  • Make sure the buckled harness straps that keep your baby properly positioned and secured in the car seat fit snuggly. Loose harness straps don’t provide maximum protection. Be sure the harness is tight, so you cannot pinch extra webbing at the shoulder.
  • Position the shoulder straps through the slots at or below your rear-facing baby’s shoulders.
  • Adjust the chest clip to armpit level.
  • Use either the car’s seat belt or LATCH system to lock the car seat into the car. Do not use both systems at the same time.
  • Your car seat should not move more than one inch side to side or front to back. Grab the car seat at the safety belt path or LATCH path to test it.

When using a forward-facing car seat:

  • Use a forward-facing car seat correctly and until the harness no longer fits (convertible or combo seat) in a back seat every time your toddler rides in a car. Many harnesses today serve kids to 50, 60, 80 or even 100 pounds.
  • Use the right car seat with a harness for your toddler’s weight and height. Toddlers are weighed and measured at every doctor visit, so be sure to keep track.
  • Put harnesses through the slots so they are even with or above the forward-facing child’s shoulders. Some seats require use of the top slots when the seat is forward-facing, so check instructions.
  • Be sure the buckled harness is tight, so you cannot pinch extra webbing at the shoulder.
  • Adjust the chest clip to armpit level.
  • Use the car’s safety belt or LATCH system to lock the car seat into the car. Do not use both at the same time.  Be sure to use the top tether
  • Your car seat should not move more than one inch side to side or front to back. Grab the car seat at the safety belt path or LATCH path to test it.
  • Use a top tether if your vehicle and car seat are both so equipped. Tethers limit the forward motion of your child’s head in a crash.

Source: Safe Kids

In addition, the Fort Myers Police Department has two certified child safety seat technicians who can educate parents on the proper use and installation of car seats.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Fort Myers car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Florida injury attorneys for a free consultation. 

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