By Jennifer Geiger on Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 GMT-06:00 2012
It's National Child Passenger Safety Week, a week that reminds us to renew our focus on car safety for our kids. It's a time to take a closer look at what's working and what needs work. According to an American Journal of Preventive Medicine study, there's a lot of room for improvement.
The three-year study used National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data on the child-safety-seat practices of 21,476 children younger than 13. It found some alarming trends. One particularly troubling development is that as kids get older, they're less likely to be secured in child-safety seats.
Not only are some adults not following the safety recommendations for their kids, but they’re setting a bad example. The study found that children with an unrestrained driver were 23 times more likely to be unrestrained themselves.
How do we reverse these trends? The study's authors have a few ideas.
"Tailored child passenger safety programs are needed to address the motivations of parents from various cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, and for drivers who do not use seat belts themselves … One novel approach to increasing child passenger restraint use may be to mandate child passenger safety education for parents who are ticketed for driving unrestrained," it suggested.
Not sure if your child is in the right seat? NHTSA has a new website that makes it easier to find the right car seat. Not sure the child-safety seat is installed correctly? Look up a car seat check location here.
Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer