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Child Passenger Safety Tips for Spokane Drivers

Spokane auto accident attorneyA great deal of the responsibility for keeping child passengers safe in motor vehicles is in the hands of parents, guardians, or caregivers. But everyone who shares the road needs to keep child safety in mind.

It's a serious issue. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that in 2016, approximately 723 child passengers under the age of 13 died in crashes.

Installation and use of a car seat

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car seats can reduce fatalities by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers in passenger cars. In light trucks, car seats can reduce fatalities by 58 percent for infants and 59 percent for toddlers.

The NHTSA recommends that parents place infants in rear-facing car seats. Once a child turns two years old, most rear-facing car seats can be turned to face forward. Additionally, until the child is 40 pounds, it’s best to use a full harness car seat. After that, the child can be placed in a booster seat until he or she reaches 4’9” tall or up to 12 years old.

When a child is seated in a car, here is the best possible posture for safety:

  • Sitting up straight without slouching
  • Knees bent near the edge of the seat
  • Feet dangling toward floorboard
  • Seat belt comes over the shoulder of the seat and across the chest.

When installing a car seat, it’s crucial that you read the manual and follow the exact instructions. Once installed, the seat should be fastened tightly with no wiggle room to move. If you’re unsure if your car seat was installed correctly, you can schedule a car seat inspection appointment with a Child Passenger Safety Technician in Spokane.

Air bag safety

Until your child reaches the age of 13, he or she will be required to remain in the back seat. Once your child is big enough to fit in an adult seat belt, he or she can ride in the front passenger seat. The child should always be seated as far away from the dashboard as possible and be fastened with a seat belt. This can reduce the chances of a serious injury occurring in a collision, especially if the airbag is deployed.

If a child is riding in a small truck that has no back seat, you may place the car seat in the front passenger side, as long as the airbag is turned off.

What to do if you’re involved in an accident

In order to prepare yourself and your child in the event of an accident, you can enroll in The W.H.A.L.E ™ Program (We Have a Little Emergency), which can help identify your child in an emergency rescue situation. You will be provided with an information card, which you fill out with the child’s name, allergies, special needs, etc. and place in a plastic holder.

If you have been involved in an auto accident, and your child was in your vehicle, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Don’t hesitate to speak to an experienced Spokane auto accident attorney who can help you and your family obtain the compensation you deserve.

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Richard E. Lewis, P.S.

2208 W Second Ave.
Suite 201
Spokane, WA 99201

Phone: 509-413-1278
Fax: 509-458-5977