Brian White and his staff are dedicated to helping car accident victims and their families get through the trauma that results after a crash. Additionally, the firm wants to help people learn about preventative measures that can keep them stay safe on the road. One such preventative measure involves education about unregulated car seats and other child seat products. These products are extremely dangerous and can lead to serious injuries or deaths of children.
Never Buy a Car Seat Without Knowing Its History
Many parents have used car seats because they’re less expensive, or are a well-kept hand-me-down. Although Houston is a heavily populated city, the demand for car seats and child safety products can become high in some areas. This leads families, particularly low-income ones, to seek alternatives to buying a new car seat.
The danger of buying used, however, is not knowing the car seat’s history. Sellers may sell their car seats or other products without adequate instructions, either because they misplaced the instructions or never had them. Many used car seats have damaged parts or were involved in moderate to severe accidents. Always ask about a car seat’s history first.
Never Buy a Car Seat With Missing Parts
Many parents, especially first-timers, buy car seats and safety products without realizing parts are missing. Some car seats may not have adequate straps. Parents might think this is okay; after all, they don’t want to confine a young child too much or put straps in the wrong places. A missing strap, though, could place a baby in imminent danger.
Car seats should come with harnesses that can be placed evenly with a child’s armpits, as well as a crotch strap and straps for the chest and hips. Chest and hip straps should always lie flat against the child’s body with no slack. In addition, parents should make sure their car seats have angle adjustors. These help indicate when a baby is positioned safely and comfortably, and can be life-saving.
Check the Expiration Date
Just like food, car seats have expiration dates and like food, using an expired car seat is dangerous. Parents should make sure they write down the make and model numbers soon after purchasing a car seat; ask the seller if this information is difficult to find on the product. Most car seats expire five years after the manufacture date; if the date is not explicit, check the owner’s manual. If the expiration date is still not apparent after an examination in good lighting, parents should call the car seat manufacturer.
When parents use expired car seats, they’re securing their children in products that may have frayed straps, brittle plastic, or loose parts. Children are much more likely to fall out of the car seat or be severely injured or killed in a crash if the seat has expired. Rear-facing car seats should have at least one year of use when purchased. Car seats that can face the rear or the front should have 2-3 years of use left, as forward-facing car seats may cause more injuries if not handled properly.
Never Buy a Recalled Car Seat
Parents should check online recalls or call potential manufacturers before purchasing a car seat. After purchase, they should continue to check recalls periodically, especially if a particular brand has been recalled within the last five years. Most recalls are addressed fairly quickly, but until they are, do not use a car seat with a known recall.
The attorneys at Brian White and Associates want to make sure your most precious cargo is safely secured in a car seat that holds up to quality safety standards. Contact one of our associates to discuss the legal ramifications of accidents involving faulty or expired car seats.