Most parents don’t even realize when they’re doing something wrong with a car seat. It’s not like they’re purposely putting their children in harm’s way; they’re simply making the kind of mistakes that people make all throughout the country, the type of oversights that wouldn’t receive a second thought unless the vehicle is involved in an accident.
A new study featured in a journal called Pediatrics relates some interesting insights into car seat safety. A Reuters Health report analyzes that research in greater depth, and in doing, it offers some important lessons that parents with children of car seat or booster seat age would be wise to comprehend.
The study hails from doctors at the Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan. To compile their results, researchers sought the opinions of hundreds of parents throughout that state whose kids were aged between one and 12 years old.
What was discovered was that, the older a child was, the greater the likelihood of he or she being allowed to sit in the front seat, even if being placed in that position was not appropriate. More than a third of all children between eight and 12 got to sit in the front seat, a marked jump from the one in ten children between four and seven who were allowed to do the same. A little under 3% of kids younger than that were able to sit in the front seat.
The researchers were also able to identify trends in inappropriate booster seat usage, with many parents appearing too eager to advance their children to a regular seat before they were ready. When taking into account those children in the study group whose height would qualify them for a booster seat, the study was able to deduce that fewer than three in ten children of the eight to 12 demographic were placed in a booster seat. That leaves roughly 70% who were not in the type of unit that could protect them properly during a crash.
It’s been suggested in the report that parents are receiving information about car seats but that they might not be receiving the right details. Friends and family could offer opinions that are downright wrong, and though the internet can be beneficial for matters of safety, getting information from the wrong site or an outdated site could be hazardous.
So what can be done? First, parents should check out the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Then, to make sure those guidelines are being followed correctly, a parent should pay a visit to a local car seat check so that a qualified professional can verify that the seat is being used in a manner that encourages safety to the utmost degree.