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Are child booster seats safe?

| Feb 19, 2021 | Car Accidents |

Parents purchase child booster seats to keep their children safe while driving on California roads while also complying with the law. Parents expect these child booster seats to come with the necessary manufacturer quality required for the seats to protect their children. Unfortunately, a recent government report suggests that manufacturers might not be living up to their claims, resulting in dangers to children’s safety.

Questions linger after a report emerges

As an infant ages and grows, there comes a need to transition the child from a baby carrier to a booster seat. A booster seat typically marketed as accommodating children weighing 30 pounds or more. Since a booster seat is still a child safety seat, the seat needs to provide an acceptable protection level.  Many booster seats are also marketed as undergoing safety tests, for example, from a side-impact crash.  Side-impact crashed made up 25% of motor vehicle fatalities for children under the age of 15 in 2018.

In Congress, the Subcommittee of Economic and Consumer Policy released a staff report that did not paint a confident picture of child safety seat manufacturers. The report pointed to manufacturers providing misleading claims and safety testing along with unsafe recommendations.

Such a bold report may prove to be a concerning one. A manufacturer that rushes through weak safety testing as a cost-cutting measure could put children’s lives at risk. If the test is not a valuable one, then the results might be highly questionable. That means a tested booster seat might not be safe at all.

Reviews and liabilities

The report did not derive from a cursory review; a significant examination of large volumes of evidence led to the alarming conclusion. The report revealed that multiple manufacturers suggested their booster seats were safe for children weighing as light as 30 pounds, but the seat actually may not be safe for children under 40 pounds. Further, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration allows for manufacturers to certify their own safety testing. In one case, a manufacturer marketed its booster seat as side-impact tested, when in fact, it was never tested.

Children may suffer severe injuries when parents find themselves involved in a car accident. A negligent driver might not be the only person liable for damages: A manufacturer that produced and sold a defective booster seat may face litigation.

Those whose children end up hurt due to negligence might want to explore legal remedies. A personal injury suit could involve one plaintiff or rise to the class action level.

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