This month’s issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons features research which takes a look at standards regarding child safety seats and the adherence to those benchmarks among parents. The study has some important information for those looking to ensure the safety of their kids.
Although children up to the age of 8 should be placed in some kind of supplemental protective device, few parents actually understand this is the case. Once a child hits the age of four, an estimated 46% parents mistakenly believe that they could sit their kids in a regular seat without the assistance of a booster unit. Not only does putting a kid in a normal adult seat too soon put their safety at risk, but the children become more privy to hip contusions, spinal damage, and pelvic fractures.
When parents neglect to put kids under five years old in a child restraint, the results can be catastrophic. Researchers looked at available fatality data and found that 46% of those kids younger than five who died in a crash were not restrained in any way.
So what can parents do to protect their kids? Kids younger than eight should be seated in the center backseat. They should be in a rear-facing unit until they’re two years old and 20 pounds, at which point a transition can be made to a front-facing unit. Boosters should then be used until a kid is eight and at least 60 pounds.