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Car Seats Save Lives

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Children are a precious asset that rely on their parents for protection and support. Every time they get into a car, they expect that they will get to their destination without incident or injury. Unfortunately, that is not always the case and each year hundreds of children are killed, and many thousands are injured in vehicular collisions.

In 2013, the CDC estimated that 38% of children 12 years old or younger who were killed in auto collisions died because they were not properly secured within the vehicle. Other studies have shown that up to 618,000 children a year under the age of 12 are placed at risk of serious injury or death because either parents, family members, or other caretakers do not properly restrain them with car seats and safety belts.

These tragic accidents and the statistics are clear evidence that car seats save children's lives. However, it is not just enough to use them. Car seats have to be used properly in order to prevent injuries and deaths. The CDC estimates that up to 59% of car seats, and 20% of booster seats are used improperly.

Tennessee law requires children to be properly restrained in a vehicle, and the legislature has recently passed legislation that will enhance the protective value of car seats and child booster seats. The new rules require the use of rear-facing car seats for infants and toddlers until age 2, forward-facing seats until age 5, and booster seats until age 12 or until the child is 4 feet 9 inches tall. The American Academy of Pediatrics has advised care givers to keep babies in rear facing car seats until they reach the height or weight limit of their car seat since 2002. Rear facing car seats do a better job of supporting a toddler's head, neck and spine in a car accident. Car accident lawyer Tony Seaton welcomes this new legislation as it will do a better job protecting Tennessee's children.

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