The first full week in September this year is child injury prevention week. This week exists as an effort to bring to light how many preventable accidents occur which hurt children. Did you know that the biggest reason children are badly hurt or killed is from car crashes?
The U.S. Government’s Department of Health and Human Services tracks the number of children injured and killed. In the year 2005, on average, four children died and five hundred and four were injured every day. 25% of these children, according to the car crash statistics, were hurt in a car accident because of a drunk driver. You know, many accidents are unavoidable no matter what you do, but one of the surprising car crash statistics the government gives is that one of the major causes of child car injuries is “improper use of a car or booster seat.”
If a car or booster seat is positioned or used incorrectly, children can get hurt and possibly even killed. What is so sad about many car accident injuries is that many of them are preventable. Read the directions for your child’s car seat and follow them for the type of car you have. What else can you do?
1. Always wear a seat belt. Your children see you as a role model and will copy what you do. If you don’t use a seat belt, chances are your children won’t either. Always make sure to buckle up!
2. If your child is under 12 years old, they should ride in the back seat. Front air bags are not made for little kids, and they can get seriously hurt riding in the front seat.
3. You should keep your children in booster seats until age 8 or until they are at least 4 feet and 9 inches tall. Car crash statistics report that booster seats, when installed correctly, give children a sixty percent better chance of avoiding serious injury.
4. Support continuing education and enforcement campaigns in your community. If we are able to educate our children on vehicle safety, the chances that they will be safer are significantly higher. As you know, it’s impossible to watch every single little thing your child does—you need to remember to train your children in safety procedures so they can be responsible for their own safety!
The sad fact after all of this is that not every car accident is preventable. Even when we do everything in our power to keep safe accidents happen to the innocent. Children who are hurt in a car accident face a lot of challenges that an adult may not face. If your child is hurt in a car accident, talking to a car accident attorney can be a great way to understand your options. We need to do everything we can to get hurt children the help they deserve.
Jim Brown is a personal injury attorney based in St. Louis, Missouri. He has written several publications, including a guide for accidents in Missouri and Illinois. You can request a free copy of, “I Survived! The Crash Victim’s Guide to Dealing with the Aftermath,” to help you get through the post-accident period by going to his website at http://www.CastleLaw.net and clicking “Contact Us.”