As fathers, it’s our duty to protect our children from dangers, yet mostly through necessity we also let them ride with us in our cars every day. Unfortunately, for many parents, it’s something we simply cannot avoid. However, we can ensure that we create the safest environment possible for our kids.
Booster Seats and Child Restraints – The Stats
Statistics have shown as many as 97% of parents are not using their child seats and restraints correctly, despite 97% of us thinking we do. According to the NHTSA, children should remain in booster seats until they reach a height of 57 inches, tall or 4 feet 9 inches and 10% of children are without them.
In fact, as most car seats are considered additional equipment for a car and while many parents use loose booster seats, if the booster cushion is actually built into the car, chances of faulty use are reduced from 77 to just 4 percent.
If you’d like to find out the recommended procedures and advice for restraining your child, the DMV offers some excellent tips on installing child seats.
Whiplash – Not Just for Adults
Everyone has heard of whiplash, maybe you’ve even had it yourself. But did you know kids can get it too? In fact, kids have weaker spines than adults, as much as 25 % less in strength, and so are very susceptible to neck injuries.
Symptoms are similar to adults but there are some additional things you can look out for. You can read more about how to identify if your kids have whiplash following a road accident and other useful kids and whiplash information here.
I Think my Child Has Whiplash, What Can I Do?
Step One: Take them to a doctor immediately or in the case of any head injuries or for a larger accident, to an emergency treatment facility. Follow your doctor’s recommendations closely, whatever they may be.
Step Two: Record their symptoms. Even if they seem fine, it’s still a good idea to note any symptoms they have. This will not only help when visiting the doctor but also in any potential claims you might have. On this note, it can also be useful to track how the injury is affecting your child’s life including time off school, inability to play etc. This may later help you if you have a claim.
Step Three: Get Legal Advice. Talk to a lawyer before you speak to your insurer. Particularly if you are not at fault for the accident.
Whatever you do, taking the proper steps to protect your child both before and after as best you can, can help in reducing the opportunity for injury. Should you get into an accident, receiving medical attention for your child is paramount. Likewise, following-up on any care your child is receiving is also essential, even once symptoms seem to have gone away.
Some links in this post may be paid.
Photo: Getty Images