Common Dangers of Children’s Strollers and Car Seats

Every hour, two young children age five or under require emergency room treatment for injuries sustained in either car carriers or strollers. In fact, during one recent 20-year time period, about 361,000 toddlers required this type of treatment. That’s equal to about 17,187 such injuries a year -- due mostly to either children falling or product tip-overs.

Of course, one chief contributing problem is that many parents forget that their children are not fully safe unless carefully strapped into their strollers or carriers. However, even when that precaution is taken, some toddlers still suffer harm because they’ve been placed in the wrong size product.

Exact Nature of the Recorded Stroller/Car Carrier Injuries

·         Bruises and other soft tissue injuries

·         Concussions

·         Traumatic brain injuries

According to authorities, even mild concussions can prove rather serious in small children. Experts say that a child’s basic learning skills, overall development, and behavior can be adversely affected by these types of early injuries. However, many children do recover fairly quickly from the milder brain injuries.

Newer Model Strollers Are Often Much Safer for Young Children

Although adults should never allow any small child to try and crawl into a stroller on his/her own since this can lead to injuries, most newer strollers are far safer. This is because new mandatory safety standards for them when into effect in September 2015. Of course, parents can still compromise safety when they fail to carefully assemble and properly maintain their children’s car carriers and strollers.

Parents must also be careful about improperly using their children’s strollers or car carriers by packing additional items in them – or hanging bags on stroller handles that can cause them to tip over. Finally, children’s caregivers should always check online reviews for various products – to see if any of them have been formally recalled. (You can usually find this information out by visiting websites like http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/ or saferproducts.gov.)

Be Sure to Register Your Child’s Car Seat/Carrier

According to the SaferCar.gov website Parents Central, registering your child’s car seat (also often used as a child carrier) helps the manufacturer contact you about all important safety notices or product recalls. This registration process can be easily handled online by visiting the following link: http://www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats/Car-Seat-Registration.htm?view=full

Always Select the Most Appropriate Car Seat for Your Child

As the Safercar.gov website points out, there are different size car seats for children. They are generally classified as:  rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster seats. (Once a child is too big for a booster seat, s/he is usually old enough to start wearing a seatbelt).

Here’s a quick look at the age/size of children normally matched to each of the three special seats named above.

·         Rear-facing car seats: These are usually most appropriate for children from birth until 12 months old. The bigger seats can accommodate many children until they’re three years old. The government recommends keeping children in rear-facing car seats as long as possible since they’re often the safest types of seats. When these car seats come with a harness and tether, those should also be used;

·         Front-facing car seats: These are usually most appropriate for children between the ages of one to three – and ages four to seven. Parents are urged to always use the harness and tether provided for these seats, too; 

·         Booster seat (or forward-facing seats). These are normally recommended for kids between the ages of four to seven – as well as between eight and twelve years of age. Of course, once children reach a certain size or level of physical development, they may be ready to start using a seatbelt and shoulder strap. However, parents should keep their kids in specially designed car seats as long as possible. 

Finally, adults must always exercise special care when they decide to use any car seat as a child carrier.

Should your child suffer a serious injury due to a malfunctioning stroller or car seat, be sure to contact your New York personal injury attorney.

From the Author: Car Seat Dangers

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