How to Properly Use Car Safety Seats to Prevent Accidents


OMAHA, Nebraska. According to the Chicago Tribune, 64 percent of parents and caretakers did not fully understand how to properly use their child’s car safety seat. Why? Car safety seats are equipped with a “tether” which is attached to the top of the car safety seat. When the tether is used properly, it can prevent the child safety seat from tipping forward. When the tether isn’t used, a child can suffer head injuries. Even those parents and caretakers who claimed to have used their child seat’s tether did not use it properly.


Car safety seats prevent injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car safety seats can reduce deaths by 71 percent when used by children under one year of age. So, if car seats are such an important component of child safety while riding in a car, why do more parents not know how to properly use them? Part of the issue involves the sheer diversity of car safety seats on the market. Different models have different installation procedures. If a parent changes brands or gets a new model, the old method of attaching the car safety seat he or she used may not apply to a new car seat. Just looking at the National Highway Traffic Safety Association website reveals a total of 16 different instructional videos for installing car safety seats. Not only do parents need to know which kind of car safety seat they own, they need to take the time to properly read through the instructions or watch the correct video.

But, given that so many parents don’t know how to use a car safety seat tether, it is likely that most parents are not fully reading car safety seat instructions. Tethers are used with forward-facing seats and by the time parents purchase these seats for older children, they may believe they can use similar procedures to install the seat that they used for rear facing seats. Additionally, the Chicago Tribune notes that parents may be switching to forward facing seats for their children too early. Safety experts recommend that parents use rear-facing seats as long as possible because these seats are safer than forward facing seats. Additionally, some parents fail to get booster seats for their children when they outgrow car safety seats. An improperly-fitting safety belt may not properly protect a child in the event of an accident.

If you are a parent and use a car safety seat when driving, check to see if your child’s car seat has a tether and learn how to properly use it. Finally, if you or a loved one has been in an accident, it is important to protect your rights. Car accident injuries can impact all aspects of your life and if your child is injured, a crash can be even more devastating. Rensch & Rensch Law are qualified accident lawyers in Omaha, Nebraska who work closely with victims and families to help them seek the recoveries they may deserve under the law. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a crash, you may be entitled to receive damages for pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses. Visit us at to learn more.

Rensch & Rensch

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