Kids will be kids. They love to run, jump… and get themselves into situations where they get hurt. Your children need to explore and learn from little bumps and bruises, but it is still your number one job as a parent to keep your children safe.
So what can you do to protect your child? Focus on the most prevalent dangers. There are a number of common child injuries that can lead to fatalities, including:
In our country, though, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration consistently reports that automobile crashes kill more children than any other type of child injury or accident. While the numbers have thankfully been declining since the ‘70s, in 2015 938 children under the age of 13 were still killed in a motor vehicle crash. Some of these deaths happened while the child was trying to cross the street or go on a bike ride, but around 70% of child crash deaths happen when they are a passenger in a car.
Thankfully, there are lots of things that you can do to make your child safer when he or she is in the car with you.
Keeping Your Child Safe When Driving
Some safety measures involve children specifically, while others are more about being a safe driver generally.
We all know what safe driving looks like, but here is a quick refresher of things you can do to prevent an accident and keep your child safe while you are driving with them:
- Follow the speed limit
- Do not drive while fatigued or intoxicated
- Stay off your cell phone and put away any distractions
- Use turn signals
- Keep your eyes on the road
- Set an example by wearing a seat belt
Additionally, many deaths from motor vehicle crashes could have been prevented if the child was sitting safely in the car. Translation: use seatbelts, car seats, or booster seats to prevent injury to your child in case of an accident.
The right car seat for your child will depend on his or her height and weight. Once you have the right seat, you also have to make sure that you correctly position it. Infants and young children require car seats that face the back of the car until they reach a specific weight. Once they reach the recommended weight, they can use a forward-facing seat or a booster until they are big enough to use the regular seat belt.
Your work doesn’t stop there, though. After you buy, it is vital that you register your car seat through the manufacturer. This way, you will be notified if there is an issue with it or a recall. If so, you must immediately replace or send back your child’s car seat.
You Can’t Prevent Every Injury – But You Can Take Action If Someone’s Negligence Hurts Your Child
All parents should practice safe driving habits in order to minimize the chances of their child getting killed in a car accident. Sometimes, though, crashes occur that you unable to avoid, and they can lead to injuries. Then there are all the times that your child is being transported in a motor vehicle when you’re not around – one the school bus, with relatives, and so on.
If an automobile crash happens due to another’s negligent behavior and your child is injured or killed, you can file a personal injury or wrongful death claim to hold them accountable and receive compensation for the incident. Your actions may help not only your family, but prevent something similar from happening to another child.
About the Author:
Since 1994, seasoned litigation and trial lawyer Anthony B. White has helped thousands of accident victims seek damages due to injuries sustained as a result of another party’s negligence. Included in America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals and selected to the 2012, 2014-2016 editions of Florida Super Lawyers, Mr. White specializes in car accidents, insurance disputes, wrongful death, product liability, and medical malpractice cases. He is a longstanding member of the Florida Justice Association and the American Association for Justice and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Broward County Justice Association.