Improper child car seat restraint can be fatal or lead to tragic, preventable injuries. Fort Worth attorney Tom Hall offers guidelines on selecting a proper seat for your child and vehicle.

You can save your young children’s lives by regularly using proper car seats when they ride with you. Furthermore, the law requires you to do so. In order to locate the best seat, parents and other caregivers must first either do some Internet research or be willing to visit one or more stores. Fortunately, there are a number of helpful websites that provide valuable information on this topic.

If your child has been seriously injured in a car accident, you may need the help of Fort Worth personal injury attorney Tom Hall. He’s been board certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization -- and he’s been filing lawsuits on behalf of children like yours for over 25 years. You can contact the Law Offices of Tom Hall today by calling 1-817-831-6100. Ask to schedule your FREE consultation.

Here’s some useful information that can help you as you begin trying to locate the proper car seat for your child. Remember, it’s not only the law – child car seats actually save lives.

General Information on Selecting a Proper Car Seat for Your Child

As your child grows, the size and type of car seat required will obviously change. When you begin your search, you must keep in mind both your child’s age and personal size. Also, at different ages, government experts often suggest that your child face the rear of the car – and at other times, the front of the car.

Never just assume any car seat will fit your car. Always either ask for permission to go try a new car seat out in your vehicle while visiting a store -- or make sure you can bring the seat right back after buying it if it doesn’t fit inside. You’ll need a car seat that can be properly installed rather easily each time your child rides with you. Take a good look at the various latches and belts on them to be sure they’re sturdy. However, you’ll also want them to release properly when you apply the correct level of pressure.

  1. Rear-facing car seats. As one government website states, the rear-facing car seat is the “best seat for your young child to use. It has a harness and, in a crash, cradles and moves with your child to reduce the stress to the child’s fragile neck and spinal cord.” There are three types: the infant car seat, the convertible seat, and the “all-in-one” seat. Be sure to read up on all of these at this link;
  2. Forward-facing seats. These feature a “harness and tether that limits” how your child can move about while in the seat. The three kinds of these seats are the convertible seat, the combination seat, and the “all-in-one” seat;
  3. Booster seats. It’s sometimes a bit harder to get your older child to use one of these – although it’s required by law in most states – so be ready to indicate that it’s a rule. However, if you’ve been using car seats throughout your child’s life, you can simply indicate that moving into a booster seat is a sign that in the near future, your child will no longer need any type of special seat. A booster seat features a “seat belt [which] fits properly over the stronger parts of your child’s body.”

 

Since you’ll need each car seat to fit properly in your vehicle, it’s usually unwise to buy them over the Internet (that can make it extra hard to return them and get a full refund). It’s often best to first complete some initial research online, checking on the different safety ratings assigned to various seats. You can then print out the website information and take it with you to a store that offers a wide selection – not just cheap imports that may offer very limited protection.

Recalls, Used Car Seats, and Bargain Stores

It’s rarely wise to start using someone else’s used car seat since you’ll never really know how worn out its various parts are until you’re in an accident situation. Although “bargain” or resale shops are not supposed to carry recalled child car seats, some are bound to slip through.  You should avoid buying these types of childcare products from them.

 

Always try to visit each manufacturer’s website prior to taking your printed information with you to any store. After all, these types of products are often subject to recalls. Furthermore, take the time to review a number of recent months of child product recalls on the Internet to see if the seat you’d like to buy is listed – and then avoid purchasing it.

 

Finally, periodically check to be sure the car seats you’re currently using aren’t the subject of a recall -- and stop using them immediately. You should be able to find online instructions about how you should return these products. Ask if you can be provided with a free replacement (or at least a full refund) so you can purchase another car seat. Some of the best information available regarding recalled car seats can be found at: www.safekids.org . The time you spend doing this research may one day truly save your child’s life -- or prevent serious injuries.

 

Call the Law Offices of Fort Worth personal injury lawyer Tom Hall at: 1-817-831-6100 to schedule your FREE consultation today. 

Tom Hall
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Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Personal Injury Trial Law