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Child Safety Seat Defects

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No safety device can protect a child in every crash. However, child seats must work properly in order to be effective. This is crucially important because one out of every three child injury deaths are caused by car crashes. Some child seats have been recalled for safety reasons. Make sure your child car seat has not been recalled.

Other child safety seats have shown disturbing patterns of failure in real world crashes, yet they have not been recalled. Federal standards require safety seats to provide a certain level of protection in frontal crashes. Responsible manufacturers test their seats in all kinds of foreseeable collisions. Not all manufacturers are responsible, however. For example, shield booster seats can be extremely dangerous in many kinds of crashes because they have no upper body restraint.

Despite alarming statistics regarding car seat defects, many millions of seats have been sold. They are designed to be used in two ways:

  1. For children who are too big for rear-facing seats but not yet big enough for a booster (over 40 pounds)
  2. As a booster when the child weighs over 40 pounds

After 40 pounds, the shield booster is used as a booster seat and the seatbelt secures the child. However, before the child weighs 40 pounds, the seatbelt is not used to restrain the upper body, and this kind of booster has no 5-point harness. Instead, the booster uses a "shield,” or arm, to restrain the child. This shield rarely fits as snugly as a belt or harness, which creates the potential for the child to be ejected.

For children less than 30 pounds, make sure they have a 5-point harness. For children 40 pounds and over, make sure you have a proper booster seat that allows the seatbelt to fit safely and snugly. In a collision, it may be the difference between a young child walking away and never walking again.

If a child safety seat fails to restrain your child in a crash, contact us. Sometimes only an expert can determine if a child safety seat failed.

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