Auto accidents are the number one killer of children. A car seat or other child restraint can protect your child, reducing the risk of injury and death during a crash, but if it is defective or improperly installed it can kill your child.
More than 80% of car seats are improperly installed. Yes, there are some careless parents out there, but most of the time improper installation is due to poor instructions provided with the car seats. Instruction manuals which are too complicated or unclear lead to improper installation, car seat failure, child injury and death.
Child restraints that fail do not protect children from injury and can actually cause injuries worse than using no restraint at all. Common car seat failures include:
- Shoulder straps which come loose or unclip during an accident
- Area where the seat belt attaches to the car seat breaks or bends, allowing the seat to launch
- Inadequate support allows child to slip down in car seat during accident
- Separation of seat from base, allowing the seat to launch
- Buckle failure
- Harness failure
- Poor shell design
- Padding inadequate to provide protection from injury
Defects in child car seats can mean that the child is held too loosely and is thrown around in the seat, striking parts of the seat and the interior of the vehicle, or it can mean full ejection from the seat. Injuries caused by a defective car seat can occur during an accident, or without a collision during sudden braking of swerving to avoid an accident.
Defects and design flaws have resulted in recalls of hundreds of models of car seats. If you currently own a car seat, or plan to purchase a car seat, be sure to check for the latest recall information on a regular basis. Some recalls simply involve replacing a defective part, while others mean replacing the entire unit.
Defective car seats can cause the injuries they are meant to prevent. In some cases a defective car seat can cause injuries far worse than if the child had not been in a car seat at all. Injuries caused by defective car seats include:
- Brain injury
- Skull fractures
- Neck injury
- Torn spinal cord
- Back injury
- Internal injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
Many models of car seats that can also be used as carriers have been recalled due to handle failure which allows the seat to flip when being used as a carrier, throwing the baby out. It comes as no surprise that many of these defective seats were made in China. Injuries caused by falling from these carriers have included:
- Skull fractures
Hundreds of babies have been injured by carriers with defective handles.
It is easy to be lulled into a feeling of false security when using safety devices, meant to protect our children from harm. The permanent injury or death of a child is the worst tragedy a parent can face. Grief and anger are only made worse when the injury was caused by a device which should have kept the child safe.
If your child has been injured or killed by a defective car seat or child restraint, contact an experienced, defective child restraint attorney today.