A new study is warning parents and caregivers that they need to be more aware of current guidelines regarding proper car seat use.
The study was published this week in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, and included a review of three years worth of data from the National Highway Traffice Safety Administration’s 2007-2009 National Survey on the Use of Booster Seats. Researchers found that as children got older, car seat safety and proper restraint techniques went down. More children were more likely to sit in the front seat of a car unrestrained, despite guidelines to the contrary.
It’s something that parents and caregivers need to pay more attention to, as research shows that car crashes are the leading cause of death for children older than 3 in the U.S. and cause 179,000 injuries to children each year.
According to an article on CBSNews.com, guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics call for exclusive use of rear-facing care seats for infants and toddlers until they reach 2 or exceed the seat’s weight or height maximums. Forward-facing car seats should be used for kids older than 2 until they grow out of them based on the manufacturers’ specifications.
It was also noted that a driver who didn’t wear a seat belt was 23 times more likely to have a child who was unrestrained in a car seat.
Our advice: when riding with children in your vehicle, make sure they properly and safely situated in a car seat. And take that extra minute for yourself to buckle up. They depend on you!