Child Car Seat Safety: Age Appropriateness, Registration and Recalls

In our previous post, we reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to implement a new side impact crash test to analyze and rate child safety restraints and car seats. At the risk of being redundant, our Chicago car accident lawyers will delve further into the safety of children on our roads, providing you with the information you need to keep your kids as safe as possible in the event of a crash.

Age and Size Appropriate Car Seats-Regardless of how much safety your child’s car seat promises, they will still be vulnerable to serious injury if they are too large or too small to be secured properly. Make sure to follow these recommendations, and always check to ensure that your child is the right height and weight for their car seat.

Birth-12 Months: Rear-facing car seat, in the back seat of the vehicle.
1-3 Years of Age: Keep your child in a rear-facing seat until their height and weight is on the fringe of the safety restraints limit. Once this happens, your child is ready to ride in a forward-facing seat with a harness.
4-7 Years of Age: Once your child has outgrown the previous car-seats requirements, it is safe to place them in a booster seat, but for their safety they must continue riding in the back of the car.
8-12 Years of Age: Your child is ready to sit in a normal seat once they are large enough to have their seat belt lie snugly across their upper thighs and chest. Even at this point, riding in the back is still always safer for your child.

Registration and Recalls-To make sure you are promptly notified in the event that your child’s car seat is recalled, register your car seat online at, the NHTSA’s vehicle safety website. If a car seat that you own is recalled get it fixed immediately, most problems are minor, but some can be very serious. If you do not have access to another car seat in the short term, check to see whether the recall permits you to use your current seat while waiting for replacement or repair. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration;

Our attorneys are committed to helping Illinois residents and their families stay safe, and we hope this information will further that goal. Unfortunately, all of the preventative measures in the world can’t fully prepare you for an encounter with a reckless or careless driver. Levin & Perconti has been helping the victims of Illinois car accidents for decades; so if you have been injured and think you may have a case, call us any time for a free consultation.

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