Thousands of children are injured in car accidents every year. Their small size makes them more vulnerable to serious injury. To prevent your child from becoming a statistic, follow these simple tips:

The back seat really is safer.

Most vehicles have notices stating that children 12 and younger should sit in the back seat due to front-seat passenger air bags. This is because air bags are designed to protect adults. The intense pressure of a quickly inflating air bag can actually cause serious injury to a child in a Maryland car accident.

Some vehicles allow the driver to turn off the front-seat passenger air bag. If your child must ride in the front, disable the air bag to prevent injury. Remember to turn it back on once an adult is sitting in the front seat again.

Use a car seat or booster seat.

In 2006, car seats and booster seats saved the lives of 425 children who were five years of age and younger in the United States. Your child's car seat could save their life in the case of a Maryland auto accident.

When picking out a car seat, keep these guidelines in mind:
  • Infants should ride in rear-facing car seats in the back seat. Children at least 1 year old and 20 pounds can generally ride in forward-facing car seats in the back seat. Booster seats are best suited for children at least 4 years old and are recommended through age 8.
  • Make sure you have the right size car seat for your child. Most Maryland car seats have a weight restriction written directly on the label.
  • It's best to buy new car seats, but if you must get a used car seat, make sure it was made after 1981 and has a three-point buckle system.

Remember- The car seat will not be effective unless it is properly installed. If you are unsure of how to install your car seat, check with the local fire department. Most fire departments have safety lessons specifically for correct installation of child safety seats.

Keep it tight.

A car seat or safety belt that's too loose will fail to do its job correctly. Make sure your child's restraint fits snugly. This may require purchasing a smaller seat or even placing towels around your child to keep them from being ejected from the car seat.

When using a booster seat, the seat belt should fit comfortably across the child's chest. If it reaches the child's neck, the child is not tall enough for the booster seat.

Avoid flying objects.

When possible, keep your belongings in the trunk to avoid flying objects in the case of an accident. Never put heavy objects on the rear dash or on the back seat next to your child.

If your child has been injured in a Maryland auto accident, you may be wondering how you can afford to pay their medical bills. To talk to an experienced Rockville personal injury lawyer today, call 1-800-875-9700. We will do our best to make your child's future safer.