New Florida Law Will Require Car Seats for Children Under Five
One of the leading causes of death for children is car accidents. In an effort to help protect the safety of children, Florida has passed a new law that will require any child through the age of five years to be seated in a federally-approved child car seat. Currently, Florida law does not require a car seat for children three years old and above.
Parents and supervising adults have some time to prepare. The new law will not take effect until January 1, 2015.
New Car Seat Law a Positive Step Forward
Florida has been one of only two states in the United States permitting four and five-year-old children to use seat belts. Kimberly Guy, president of St. Joseph’s Children Hospital in Tampa, in an Op-Ed piece, lauded the new car seat law and explained its importance.
Working at a hospital, Ms. Guy witnessed the consequences of not having a car seat law for children five years of age and under:
“In the past five years, 40 percent of the kids five and younger who came to our pediatric trauma center after a car accident were restrained improperly.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deaths of children aged four to eight are reduced by 45 percent when a proper restraining device is used. Seat belts are not effective restraining devices for children so young. According to Ms. Guy, “[c]hildren under the height of 4 feet, 9 inches who are strapped in with seat belts can sustain spinal or internal injuries, and even be killed, in a crash.”
This new law is an important step to require parents and caretakers to protect the safety of children by placing them in proper restraining devices.
Car Seat Safety Tips
AAA recently released the results of a survey, which found that 3 out of 4 car seats are not installed correctly. When installed incorrectly, a car seat can actually be a dangerous device, which can cause injuries or even lead to death. By following some basic steps, parents can ensure that car seats are installed properly and used for their intended purpose: to prevent injuries and death.
AAA has identified the top 3 mistakes that parents make when using a car seat:
Car seats are not installed tightly enough to support the weight of the child.
The shoulder straps are not positioned correctly. The straps are not tight enough or twisted.
Parents often upgrade children too soon for larger car seats.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles also has a wealth of information on child passenger safety and occupant protection.
Contact a Miami Auto Accident Attorney
The Perez-Gurri Law Firm has extensive experience handling auto accidentcases. If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident, contact our firm today to see what rights you have and to possibly recover damages. We also handle cases involving adult and child daycare accidents.
Our firm is located in Coral Gables, Florida. Call or visit our office today for a free case consultation.