Most U.S. kids are not sitting safely in cars due to improper restraints and underage kids sitting in the front seat, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.
In the U.S. car crashes are the leading cause of death for children older than 3. More than 140,000 children are injured in car crashes.
“Researchers observed nearly 22,000 children and found that just 3 percent of children between ages 1 and 3 who were restrained at all were sitting in a proper, rear-facing car seat, and only 10 percent of 8- to 10-year-old children were properly restrained in a booster seat or a car seat.”
“The difficulty people have in adhering to car safety regulations may show how dramatically they’ve changed in recent years, said the study’s author, Dr. Michelle Macy, of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. “For parents, it’s not anything they would have done as kids,” she said….”
“The newest AAP recommendations say that until age 2, children should sit in rear-facing seats, and children over age 2 should sit in front-facing seats with harnesses until their weight and height exceeds the car seat’s capacity. Then, a booster seat should be used until a child is 57 inches tall, which is the height of an average 11-year-old. Kids shouldn’t sit in the front seat until they’re 13 years old, the AAP says….”
“Additionally, the researchers found a wide gap in car seat and seat belt use between white children and children of black or Hispanic descent. Among kids ages 3 and under, black or Hispanic children were 10 times more likely to be unrestrained than their white counterparts.”
Common mistakes that researchers found were:
Children older than 7 not using booster seats (only 2 percent were using a booster seat) and kids 8 to 10 were often sitting in the front seat.
I see kids up front all the time out here and I can’t decide if it’s the law or just an Arizona attitude of you’re not telling me what to do (they are not required to wear helmets on motorcycles).
How well are you adhering to car seat and booster recommendations? Are your grade-school kids still in boosters? Are your grade-schoolers riding up front? What are you thoughts on the changing recommendations?