Experiencing a collision in a motor vehicle can change the entire story of your life in just a few moments. You and the people in your vehicle may suffer severe injuries. For parents, motor vehicle collisions are even more of a risk.
Cars are one of the most dangerous places to have a child. Injuries resulting from an accident in a motor vehicle remain a leading cause of death for minor children. As a parent, you want to do everything you can to keep your kids safe. Unfortunately, you can't simply avoid traveling in motor vehicles unless you intend to live on an Amish farm somewhere.
However, there are steps that you can take that will limit the risk your children face in your vehicle. Driving safely is important, of course, but using the proper kinds of restraints is the single most important step toward protecting kids in cars.
Most kids below middle school age need some kind of restraint
Almost all parents already know that infants require specialized car seats. In fact, most birthing and parenting classes include information on the various forms of infant car seats. Generally speaking, they are rear-facing and allow your infant to recline safely on their back.
Once your baby is about 2 years old, you may be able to move them out of that infant seat. Child seats for small children can face forward. They typically have at least a three-point harness to prevent the child from being ejected in the event of a crash. Different versions of child seats can accommodate children up to 40 or even 50 lbs.
However, once your child reaches a certain age, they likely aren't going to want to sit in a child seat. A booster seat is the perfect transitional solution. A booster seat lifts your child and adjusts where the seat belt falls on their body, making their strengths safer and more effective. Generally speaking, your child should stay in a booster seat until they reach 4' 8" tall. Regardless of how old they are, until they reach that height, seat belts as installed in vehicles will not be as effective as you might hope.
Injuries to your children could completely change your life
The injuries that children suffer in a car accident can have long-lasting consequences. Although kids are still growing and often heal quickly, they are also smaller and more likely to experience catastrophic injuries in a collision.
For example, the growth plate inside the bone could get damaged in a child due to a fracture. While a broken bone in an adult is a relatively simple injury, in a child it could impact the development of their muscular skeletal system for many years to come. Similarly, minor cuts in young children can end up developing into major scars.
Your family should not have to bear the financial burden involved in treating a child for injuries from a crash. This is particularly true if the collision resulted from someone else's decisions instead of your own. If your child wound up hurt in a crash caused by another driver, sitting down to talk with an experienced Louisiana personal injury attorney could help your family.