Questions Abound Concerning Use of Child-Safety Seats

When someone becomes a parent, his or her entire life will change. The responsibility that goes along with caring for a child can lead many people to have uncertainties about what they should be doing to make sure that their child is as safe as possible.

Many parents have difficulty with child-safety seats. These seats protect their children in the event of a motor vehicle accident. Because of the essential safety benefits that they provide, there are several steps that must be followed in order to ensure safety.

Seats must be properly attached to vehicles, or they may lose or lessen their effectiveness. Additionally, as children age, different seats must be used to provide optimal protection from injury.

National Child Safety Week presents a great time for parents to review some of the ways to properly install and use child-safety seats. The platform also presents an opportunity to see where parents may improve.

A study by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine examined child-safety seat use. The journal studied accident data to determine if child seats were being properly used, and if the seats prevented injury.

The study determined that as children increased in age, it was less likely that they would be in a child-safety seat. For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued guidelines that call for children to remain in seats until age 8, or until they reach 4 feet, 9 inches tall. However, the study determined that only two percent of children over the age of 7 were in child-safety seats.

An additional item of concern in the study is that many children are riding in the front seat of vehicles. As children get older, more parents allow them to ride in the front seat. This is a particularly dangerous place for a child should an accident occur.

Source: “Child-Safety Seat Use Drops As Kids Age” Jennifer Geiger, September 17, 2012.

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