Products Liability Defective Car Seats
When child safety seats fail due to design flaws or manufacturing defects, children’s lives are put at risk and parents’ trust is betrayed. No parent should have to gamble on their child’s safety because car seat manufacturers skimped on safety measures.
Types of Child Safety Seats
Child safety seats are among the most important purchases a parent can make. In fact, all 50 states have their own laws requiring the use of child safety seats when traveling in vehicles. Unfortunately, when car seats or booster seats are defective in design or manufacture, children are put at risk for serious injury or death in even a minor car accident. Until a child reaches the legally mandated age, weight, or height required to travel without a safety seat, parents must use them. Children graduate from each stage of safety seat until they no longer require one.
Rear-facing Safety Seat
New parents brings their infants home from the hospital in their first car seat, an infant, rear-facing car seat. Infants and toddlers should be restrained in rear-facing seats until they grow out of them by exceeding the height and age requirements set by the manufacturer.
Forward-facing Safety Seat
Forward-facing safety seats are most commonly thought of when people hear the term child safety seat. These seats mimic a car seat but face forward. Toddlers and children up to age five should be restrained in forward-facing seats until they surpass the height and age requirements set by the manufacturer and/or until they are old enough per state law.
Booster seats are generally the last safety seat a child will use. Children who have outgrown forward-facing seats should use boosters to properly position the seatbelt. Boosters serve to raise the height of the child so the seatbelt will be effective in securing the child in the event of an accident.
Common Car Seat Defects
While the intended purpose of car seats is to protect the child, defects can hinder the effectiveness of every model. Baby product manufacturers have increased scrutiny over the design and manufacturing of their products due to the vulnerable demographic they serve. Parents choose products based on reputation and trust that child safety is kept in mind at all phases of the product lifecycle. Defects can take form in various ways, all equally dangerous to a child if a defective car seat reaches the hands of parents.
Faulty Latches or Buckles
A child safety seat’s latches and buckles are integral parts of the product design. When latches or buckles provide too much slack or become locked, the child is at risk of either being ejected from the car seat or becoming trapped in it should they need to be rescued in the event of an accident.
Similar to adjusters on a backpack, child safety seat adjusters allow for the straps to be moved and secured at given lengths. Faulty adjusters can become locked, unexpectedly loosen, and/or dangerously restrain children in seats after a crash.
A car seat becomes ineffective if the frame is made of weak materials or poorly designed. Similar to the framing of a car that is meant to protect passengers, child safety seat frames aim to protect the child and secure them in place. Inefficient framing places the child in harm’s way and negates the intended purpose of a safety seat.
The materials used to construct a child safety seat are just as important as its design. Child safety seats that are constructed with flammable materials can cause further injury or death in the event of an accident. A child safety seat that is made of flammable materials could potentially erupt in flames in the event of an accident.
Defective Child Safety Seat Attorneys
Parents have enough to worry about when it comes to protecting and raising their children. The pain of betrayal is felt tenfold by parents whose children are victims of defective products. No parent should ever have to feel guilty for unknowingly putting their child in harm’s way due to senseless defects. If you or a loved one were injured by a defective child safety seat, contact us today.