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Florida Child’s Death on Christmas Highlights the Importance of Child Safety in Cars


A car accident is difficult enough without also having to deal with news that a child died as a result.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to one Florida boy who turned nine on Christmas day: Isaac Santillan was the unfortunate victim of a crash at the intersection of Sunrise and Cortez boulevards at 4:30am. The 2005 Toyota Corolla — driven by his father, who was not technically his legal guardian — crashed into an unoccupied car, parked off the road.

Two others in the car are also now in critical condition as a result of the accident. Reportedly, Santillan’s father was speeding and, as a result had a difficult time making a turn, when he crashed into the parked vehicle.

Car Accidents Killing Too Many Children

Sadly, motor vehicle injuries are still a leading cause of death amongst children in the United States. In 2015 alone, more than 660 children 12 years old or younger died in car crashes, with more than 120,000 injured in 2014. More than 618,000 children in that same age group were found riding in cars without the use of child safety measures just in one year, and 35 percent of those that died in 2015 crashes did not even have seatbelts on.

Preventing Injuries & Fatalities for Children in Cars

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), buckling children into age-appropriate seats and seat belts reduces serious and fatal injuries by more than half for them.  Car seats specifically reduce the risk of death in car accidents by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers between the ages of one and four.

The following is a list of recommendations from the CDC based upon the child’s age:

  • Birth through age two: children should be buckled into a rear-facing car seat in the back seat;
  • Ages two through five: switch to a forward-facing car seat in the back seat;
  • Ages five until ready to wear a seatbelt: once that a child outgrows the forward-facing seat in the back, they should be placed in a booster seat until a seat belt fits them properly (still in the back seat for optimal protection); and
  • All children ages 12 and under should always be buckled in the back seat. Note that airbags deploying in the front seat can kill children within this age range.

Florida Car Accident Attorneys

Even if you are the safest driver out on the road, another driver can hit you and ruin everything. One accident can change everything, especially when children are involved.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car accident, contact our experienced Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers at Friedland & Associates today. We are here to help.



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