Taking The Right Angle With Car Seat Safety

Posted on September 19, 2013

A lot of attention has been paid this week to how to properly install a child’s car seat, which isn’t surprising given the week’s moniker of National Child Passenger Safety Week.  That said, there has been one topic that hasn’t been covered as intensely by most media outlets, and that’s the importance of ensuring that a car seat is at the right angle when it’s placed in a vehicle.

A new article has arrived from Ohio State University College of Medicine’s Injury Biomechanics Research Center director that changes that.  He notes that, while all new car seats that a parent purchases should meet the requirements of the federal government, not all car seats are suitable for all cars.

One thing he warns against, for instance, is using something like a pool noodle or towel in order to get a car seat to fit properly into an automobile.  These may get the job done, but if not placed in exactly the right manner, safety can’t be assured.

He says that 43.6% of combinations of vehicle and car seat contribute to an angle that could be deemed unsafe.  The angle could be so steep or shallow that it becomes exceedingly difficult to protect a child during a wreck.  Parents are urged to measure the angle and inquire as to the possibility of testing a car seat in their own vehicle before purchase.

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