According to Health Day News, car accidents are the leading cause of death for kids four years of age and younger, at least in part because these young children are often not properly restrained. While kids under four need to be in car seats, many parents aren’t really sure how to use them correctly. Unfortunately, a new study shows that even when kids get into a car accident and are taken to the emergency room, parents are still not educated properly on safe car seat use.
Our Pennsylvania accident attorneys know that a child can be very seriously hurt in any car accident. If the child is not properly secured into a car seat, however, the injuries are likely to be more severe. It is imperative that every effort be made to provide parents with better education on car seat use so kids can be better protected in the event that a crash happens.
Parents Not Receiving Car Seat Education
A recent Health Day News article released information from a study lead by a clinical lecturer in the department of emergency medicine at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. The lead author of the study indicated that a visit to the emergency room after an auto accident presents an extremely important chance to educate families about safe car seat use in order to help keep kids out of the hospital in case a future accident happens.
Yet, the study shows that parents simply aren’t receiving this information because emergency rooms are failing to provide it. The study author indicated that the research showed emergency room physicians were largely unaware of resources in the community intended to show parents how to use child seats safely. As such, emergency room physicians simply don’t provide this potentially life-saving information to parents.
This is a huge missed opportunity to save lives, since more than 130,000 kids ages 13 and under go to the emergency room each year after getting hurt in a car wreck. More than one-third of doctors surveyed, however, indicated that they didn’t know if the emergency departments where they worked even had information available about safe use of child seats.
When kids are treated in general emergency departments without specialized pediatric care, parents are even less likely to get information on proper use of child seats than in healthcare environments where the treating physicians have a pediatric specialty. Since almost 85 percent of kids who get into car accidents are treated in general emergency rooms, this means that the vast majority of parents and kids aren’t getting any support for how to use car accidents more safely.
Protecting Your Kids
While hospitals should do better as far as making sure parents are educated about safe car seat use after an auto accident, parents can also get help and information on their own.
At most local police stations, there is information on safe use of child seats. Parents may be able to attend special events where they are taught how to secure their child properly, and can get a hands-on demonstration from community groups and programs specifically intended to teach safe child seat use.
Parents should also be aware that car seats need to be replaced after every car accident with vehicle intrusion; with air bags that deployed; or with a car that was not drivable after the wreck.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident in Pennsylvania, contact Metzger Wickersham injury lawyers at 1-800-WIN-WIN-1.