The Case for Car Seats: Never Leave Home Without One

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore...

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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of injury and death among children of all ages in the U.S. The lifesaving power of seat belts and booster seats is well-proven, but with safety recommendations and regulations changing practically yearly, it can be difficult for parents to keep up. How can parents know when a high-priced booster seat is worth it? When is a rear-facing seat safer than a front-facing seat? And now that you can buy booster seats for kids who weigh up to 90 lbs, does that mean we really need to?

Luckily, consumer safety organizations like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, breaks down the latest research in child car safety and provides extensive guides for parents who need to know more about choosing and using the booster seat that’s right for their child. In the event of an accident the way you fit and fasten your car seat is more important than how many bells and whistles it came with. Unfortunately, as you’ll see in the graphic below, it turns out that many well-meaning parents or caregivers aren’t actually their child seats properly.

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