Car seats can cut the risk of car accident fatalities by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers when used correctly. However, a study published in the August 8, 2012, American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that car seats are often used incorrectly, putting children’s lives unnecessarily at risk. 

What the Car Seat Study Found That Puts Young Children at Risk

The risk is entirely preventable. You can help protect your child by using the correct car seat for your child’s age and size and by ensuring that it’s installed correctly. You can also be aware of common mistakes that adults make when transporting young children that, according to the study, include

  • Failing to keep children in the appropriate car seat for their age. This problem was more likely as the children got older. For example, many infants under 1 were kept in rear-facing car seats, but many toddlers aged 1-2 were not kept in a rear-facing car seat, which is recommended until their second birthday or until they outgrow the seat.
  • Allowing children to sit in the front seat before they are reach age 13 and four feet nine inches.

The study found a significant racial disparity with black and Hispanic children being less likely to be properly restrained than white children. Researchers concluded that specific programs might be needed to teach parents of various ethnic backgrounds the importance of following car seat safety guidelines.

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James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.