As an EMT working innercity 911, I have NEVER worked a car accident with properly restrained children.
Last night was no different...and a 9 yr old lays in a hospital with a brain bleed....
I am tired of coming up on car accidents and finding kids seriously injured because of not being properly restrained.
It is a parents responsibility to make sure that their children are properly restrained.
Make sure they wear their lab AND shoulder belt, don't let them tuck the shoulder belt behind them.
Make sure your toddlers are in proper with 5 point harnesses, rear facing for AS LONG AS POSSIBLE (not until the age of 1, but much longer past the age of 1). Most allow up to 35-40 lbs rear facing...keep them rear facing for that long...their legs may be bent, but they are safer rear facing...its a matter of possibly broken legs or a broken neck.
Keep your children in booster seats until the proper HEIGHT AND WEIGHT. Where I work the law is children must be in booster seats until they're 8 years old....obey these types of laws! They save lives! Check your state laws and ask your child's doctor what height and weight they should be before they are out of booster seats....if you have small kids and they're still not big enough by the age of 8...keep them in booster seats until they're the proper size to be out of them...the age is arbitrary, their size is important. 5 point harness booster seats, even for kids up to 8 years old, are the safest....I have seen the little seats with arm rests that you buckle in with the kid fail (slide right out from under the child, pulling the kid out with it) because the kid was too small for that type of booster or the seat belt wasn't on it right.
Experts are now recommending children up to the age of 12 should be in booster seats...yes...twelve years old...they need to be at least 4'9" to ride without one.
If you don't know what type of to use...talk to your doctor. If you don't know how to properly use the booster seat you can visit a fire station or hospital and they will show you how to use it properly.
It may be inconvenient or you might think "but nothing will happen to us"...but this is a matter of your child's life. These laws and regulations are important for your child's safety.
Please tell everyone you know that has children, have them spread the word, and keep your kids safe when traveling in a car!
I am tired and frustrated because of this, it weighs on me every time I see a child critically injured. I have seen kids with serious head injuries, serious abdominal injures, and I have even seen kids die because of not being properly restrained. I don't want to see this any more.