Volvo child safety seat system

Study: parents are often using inappropriate car seats

A new study by researchers at the University of Michigan shows that many children are graduated to front-facing car seats too early and many older children are not put in appropriate boosters.

Despite the huge public outreach by government and the insurance industry, a new study shows that many parents are graduating children to bigger car seats too soon or foregoing recommended booster seats altogether, putting their children at risk.

Deaths due to car accidents are the number one killer of children between one and 13 years of age in the United States. The American Journal of Preventative Medicine published a study revealing why many kids are at risk: too few parents are using child safety seats correctly, usually by choosing the wrong one or by not using one at all.

The study found that parents are often graduating children to front-facing seats too early (often being changed at age one, despite National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, recommendations of waiting to age two). Car seat manufacturers are posting both height/weight and age recommendations, as required by NHTSA, but many parents are ignoring them. The study also found that many parents are allowing children as young as age six to ride in the front seat, despite posted warnings in vehicles owner's manuals and sun visors showing the dangers this invites.


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