Car safety experts provide advice after deadly accident killed c - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Car safety experts provide advice after deadly accident killed child

(WMC-TV) - The baby who died in a crash Tuesday morning was in a car seat, but not properly restrained. Investigators say another child was holding the car seat in place.

Three other children and two adults were injured in the car accident. As they recover, safety experts want to remind everyone that using a car seat and making sure children are properly restrained in a vehicle can be the difference between life and death.

Susan Helms is the director of injury prevention and safe kids at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital. She says it is never a good idea to hold a child in your lap while in the car.

"You don't know when a crash is going to happen, but even if you did, you don't have enough time to grab and hold a child tight," said Helms. "A rule of thumb, multiply your speed by the weight of the baby, with, if that's the pounds, see if you can bench press. If the baby weighs 10 pounds and you're going 50 miles per hour, you'd have to bench press 500 pounds in a nanosecond, so it's impossible and the baby will become a projectile to everyone in the car or fly out the windshield."

Helms always urges drivers to always make sure a child is buckled in every time you get behind the wheel, using the proper child restraints for their age, weight, and height. Make sure the seat is secure. And remember that Tennessee law requires that everyone in a car wear a seat belt, and all children 13 years old and younger must ride in the back seat.

"Maybe some crashes are not survivable, but if there are any chances, you need to buckled up," said Helms.

If you see someone driving around town without their child properly restrained, call the Le Bonheur Children's Hospital hot line at 1-800-215-SEAT. Be prepared to provide a license plate number of the vehicle in question. The hospital will send them a friendly reminder about child restraints. You can also call that number to make an appointment with an expert to make sure your child's car seat is properly secured.

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