Car seats are a requirement for new parents; so much so that some hospitals give them out when a baby is born. These car seats are designed to protect the most delicate lives, but most importantly they are designed to protect those that cannot protect themselves. Even though car seats are supposed to shield children from injuries that could result from car accidents, from March of 1998 until May of 2001, four major manufacturers of child safety seats announced five recalls involving nearly 10 million car seats.
Identified Defects in Car Seats
Car seat defects include:
- Defective handles
- Buckle or clip defects
- Improper padding
- Sudden releases
- Weak or improper construction or materials
- Unanticipated rotation
- Separation of base from the shell
- Flammable materials
- Defective harness systems
Millions of car seats that were sold since 2001 have been recalled by their manufacturers because of design flaws. These seemingly simple flaws in construction or materials become the leading causes of car seat tragedy. The one time a car seat must work, during an accident, is the time these car seats are failing.
Unfortunately, the ones who suffer from these defects are the children who should be protected. Children may be at risk of ejection from the car seat, contact with the seat in front or by being struck by an airbag, the seat belt or chest guard.
Injuries to children due to defective baby car seats include:
- Skull fractures
- Broken legs
- Traumatic brain injuries
In addition, for some reason, car seat technology is complex. Obviously, the manufacturer must ensure that the car seat cannot be opened by the occupant. But why then is it so confusing to parents? If you have ever attempted to install a car seat you would be not be amazed to find that studies show 82% of parents who use car seats for babies and children do not have these car seats installed properly. Imagine how many tragedies could be averted by simply making the car seat less complicated to install and maintain.
Children operate in a world with many dangers. Products for use by children should be safe, of course. Products used to protect children should be safeguarded to the point that they are almost infallible. Don’t we owe that to those small, defenseless children who look to us to protect them?