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Why do children need to ride in car seats?

In the 1960s, 70s and 80s, there were little to no rules or laws about the use of car seats for children. Things have changed a lot. Not only have vehicle designs changed, but the way we travel has changed, too. There is a huge increase in the number of vehicles on Louisiana roadways, which means a higher chance of accidents. In an accident, it is the smallest passengers who are most at risk.

According to U.S. News and World Report, children's bodies are not yet fully developed making them at high risk for serious injury in a car accident. A hard jostling or the impact that occurs during a crash can severely injure a child. In addition, the seat belts in a vehicle could also pose a risk to children because they are not made for people of such a small size. The way they fit a child's body could put the child at risk for internal damage or allow the child to slip under the belt and become air borne.

The safest way for a child to ride in a vehicle is in a safety seat designed for their age, height and weight, which properly supports the head and neck and uses a secure five-point harness. You should always follow the manufacturer's guidelines and choose a seat that fits your child. As your child grows, pay attention to the seat's guidelines and adjust the seat based on the recommendations. For example, some seats are made to be rear-facing only up to a certain weight or height. Once your child outgrows the car seat, he or she should then move to a booster seat. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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