Parents want to protect their children more than anything else. Some parents may not realize that certain car seat practices in the winter are putting children at risk if they are not dressed properly in a car seat. Additionally, parents should be aware that it is best to keep children rear-facing for as long as possible, since an accident can have a greater impact on the neck and spine when children are under age three.
Car seat straps should be flush against a child’s body in case of an accident to ensure that the child’s body will not move as much. This will prevent whiplash or other potential injuries that could occur as a result of the child’s body jerking back and forth in a car accident. In the winter, parents are concerned about children being cold and want to ensure that the child is adequately dressed for the cold weather. On the other hand, if children are in the car seat with a winter coat, this could create an underlying hazard.
The problem is that the car seat straps appear to be flush against the child’s body when they are wearing a winter coat in the car seat, but there is space between the child and the straps, which would allow the child’s body to jerk back and forth in a car accident. If there is too much space between the child and the straps, there is the risk that the child could come out of the car seat.
Solutions to Winter Safety Hazards with Car Seats
To solve this potential safety hazard, parents are advised to place their child in the car seat without a winter jacket and to put the jacket or a blanket over the child after the straps are secured against the child’s body. As children get older and are still using a five-point harness, parents can put a thinner fleece jacket on the child as a first layer to reduce any discomfort from the cold, ensure that the straps are against the child’s body, and then place a heavier coat over the child and the straps.
For smaller children, it is also safest for the child to remain rear facing past age two. Although state laws can require children to be rear facing up to age two, parents can continue to keep the neck and spine safer in the event of an accident if the child remains rear-facing after the age of two.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates Help Victims Injured in All Types of Car Accidents
If you or your child has been injured in a car accident, the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates can help. After careful analysis of your case, we can help highlight the potential hazards and work to obtain the justice you deserve. Contact us today by calling us at 215-567-6600 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Voorhees, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas.