The accidental death of any child is a tragedy. When the accident could have been avoided, it multiplies the anguish experienced by those left behind.
As every parent know, dangers for children are everywhere. There are medical causes of serious illnesses and congenital abnormalities that can affect a child’s longevity. There are also external factors that lead to fatalities. Common causes of childhood death include drowning, fire, asphyxiation, poisoning and assault. Sadly, car accidents are the number one cause of childhood deaths for kids ages one to nine in Ohio. And many motor vehicle crashes are preventable.
How can I protect my child from injuries in car crashes?
As a parent, you want to do all you can to protect your child from injury. While you can’t protect them from every danger, there are steps you can take to help them stay safe when riding in a car, truck or SUV.
Properly install and use child seats
Child seats should be the right size to protect your kids as they grow. In Ohio, children must be securely fastened into a child seat until they are four years old and weigh at least 40 pounds. Make sure the child seat is properly attached to the car as well. This provides them the best chance for protection in the event of a car or truck collision.
When can my child start using a booster seat?
Unless your child is over four feet eight inches tall, all children between the ages of four and eight must be in a child booster seat in the back seat of the car. Children nine and older must use seat belts and stay in the back seat. No child under 13 should ever be in the front passenger seat.
Which direction should my child face while riding in a car?
Until your child is two years old, their car seat should face the back of the car. At age three, they can start facing forward.
Insist that others follow safe driving guidelines
Children copy what they see. If drivers or passengers are not buckling up, young kids will not want to either. Insist that anyone who drives a motor vehicle in which your child is riding follow driving safety rules. This means using child seats and seat belts, not speeding, not driving while distracted and, of course, not driving after drinking.
Accidents happen despite taking every precaution because you can’t predict what others will do. If you or your child was injured because of someone else’s mistake, learn about your legal options for financial recovery. Compensation from a lawsuit can help cover medical expense, future care and pain and suffering.