95 percent of new parents install car seats incorrectly
Researchers from the Oregon Health and Science University looked at how 291 new parents installed their car seat and positioned their newborn in the seat upon discharge from the hospital.
The results were startling: 95 percent of the families made at least one error in car seat use, with 91 percent making a serious error. Even 83 percent of the parents who worked with a certified car seat safety technician had at least one error.
The most common errors were loose harness and seat installation, incorrect recline angle and low chest clip.
“This is just another reminder that small things make a big difference in regards to the safety of our kids,” says Dr. Aaron Traeger, an Advocate Children’s Medical Group pediatrician at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Ill. “Pay attention to details and don’t rush through the installation steps.”
Dr. Traeger and the study both recommend new parents work with certified car seat technicians when installing the car seat for the first time.
“Once that is done, take time to make sure every step is done right every time,” Dr. Traeger says.
Researchers concluded that more needs to be done to improve infant safety.
“Car safety seats are much more difficult to use correctly than they should be,” said lead researcher Dr. Benjamin Hoffman in a news release. “Vehicle and car seat manufacturers must work together to develop systems that are easier for consumers to use and understand.”
“We see too many preventable injuries that might have been avoided with proper car seat use,” says Dr. Torero. “Car seats are very complex and the instructions can be confusing. For the well-being of your child, I recommend that parents take the extra time needed to install and use car seats correctly in order to keep your child safe.”
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