August 15, 2010 – I was recently at a red light and looked over to the car next to me. There was a small sedan containing three adults and three children! There were two children in the back seat sitting in the laps of two adults and obviously wore no restraint. As a parent, I cannot even imagine allowing my child to ride in a car without any protection to what can and does occur every second in this country – a serious car accident!
This month Colorado enacted a new law requiring children between 4 and 8 years of age to ride in booster seats. The most common injury sustained by children in automobile accidents is head trauma, and children under 1 year old are more likely to suffer from head trauma than any other age. A rear-facing car seat is still required for babies under 1-year old and weighing less than 20 pounds. However, after their first birthday and once they’ve reached 20 pounds, that child can be placed in a front-facing car seat.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently reported that unrestrained children were almost three times more likely to suffer severe injuries in rollover crashes and eight times more likely in near-side impacts than restrained children.
If you cannot afford to purchase a new car seat, you can purchase an inexpensive used car seat or booster seat at garage sales, resale shops or thrift stores like Goodwill and ARC. If you are unsure how to install a car seat or booster seat, you can take them to the nearest fire or police department and someone will educate you on the proper way to install it in your vehicle.
No one knows they will be involved in a car accident until it happens! It comes out of the blue and with no warning. It is our responsibility to keep our children safe! If we don’t do it, who will?