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Why do children need to ride in car seats?

Karns & Kerrison

In Rhode Island and every other state in the country, there are laws requiring children to be properly restrained when riding in a vehicle. This has not always been the case. Car seats are actually a rather new invention. However, they are now mandatory based on a child's age and weight. You may wonder why this is and how car seats actually protect a child.

U.S. News and World Report notes the reason children need to ride in proper car seats is because they are so much smaller than adults. The seats in a vehicle are not designed to properly protect a child in an accident situation. Furthermore, seat belts are not designed for use by anyone under 4 feet 9 inches tall. A properly installed and fitted car seat can keep a child secured into the vehicle, preventing him or her from being thrown from the vehicle or within the vehicle upon impact.

Infant car seats cradle the baby. It offers protection that surrounds your child to prevent him or her from being too jostled in the event of a crash. When rear-facing, the seat provides even more protection for the child's head and neck, helping to prevent it from snapping forward. Every car seat features a harness that disburses the force of an impact over various points of the body to help reduce the trauma to the body.

Booster seats, which are the last safety seat requirement for children, enable them to use a seat belt safely by letting them sit higher so the belt lays in the proper spots. In a crash, your child is best protected by safety seats. These seats are designed to cushion the child and protect them as much as possible.

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