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Fit Is Everything: Strapping Your Children Correctly Is The Only Way To Protect Them In A D.C. Car Wreck

In fashion, fit is everything. Even inexpensive clothes, with the correct fit, can look like a million bucks. In sports, the right fit in equipment — such as a shoe — can help athletes shave off time or go the extra mile.

With child safety seats, the same holds true. The safest, newest, most expensive car seat in the world will do nothing to protect your child in a Washington, D.C. collision if you do not have your child strapped into the seat correctly. While we have already covered the different types of car seats appropriate for your child, we have yet to discuss the general fit – as well as the fit specific to each type of seat ­with you.

General Fit Principles To Protect Your Child In The Event Of A District-Area Car Wreck

No matter what kind of seat your child is currently in, there are a few good guidelines to follow.

Harness type: There are two primary types of harnesses: three point and five point. Three-point harnesses feature two shoulder straps that meet at a crotch strap, and five-point harnesses add additional hip straps. Five-point harnesses are considered the safest type of harness.

Strap fit: Straps should lie flat against your child’s body, and should be tight enough that there is no extra slack. Your child should not be wearing bulky clothing like winter coats under the straps. Have your child wear his normal clothes to strap in, and add blankets or coats after. If your baby is very small, you can add small padding around him for extra support inside the seat.

Seating position: Do not place your child too high or too low in the seat — crouching or slouching is not safe! Have his back flat against the back of the seat prior to strapping him in.

Specifics from seat to seat: Every seat will have specific guidelines that you will need to review prior to use, but there is one very important thing to be aware of when making the transition from rear-facing seats to forward-facing seats: shoulder strap placement. Every car seat has shoulder strap feed slots to allow your seat to grow with your child. On rear-facing seats, the shoulder strap should be fed through the slots that fall at your baby’s shoulder or below your baby’s shoulder. On forward-facing seats, the shoulder straps must be fed through the slots that fall at shoulder height or higher.

Calling The Ones Who Care

Proper fit goes a long way in protecting your child, but accidents can still happen. When they do, contact the Maryland car accident attorneys of Lewis & Tompkins; they will work hard to ensure that you and your passengers — even little passengers — get the compensation you deserve. Dial 202-296-0666 now for a free consultation.