With car accidents being the leading cause of death for children under the age of 3, it's very important for car seats to be properly used and that the car seats themselves are not defective. However, while most people know this to be true, sadly, every year there are a number of injuries and deaths caused by not only defective car seats, but also many parents not following car seat guidelines.
A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found many parents are not following the proper guidelines when it comes to child safety seats. The study was conducted by researchers staking out places like recreation centers and fast food restaurants to see how children were strapped in.
From there it was found that less than 2 percent of children over the age of 7 were properly restrained in booster seats and many were also not properly restrained in rear or forward facing safety seats.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the guidelines are as follows:
- Until the age of 2 a child should be in a rear-facing car seat, unless they exceed the seat's height and weight requirement before then.
- After the age of 2 children should be placed in forward-facing car seats until they outgrow the manufacturer's specifications for the seat.
- School-aged children who are too big for forward-facing child seats should be in a seat belt positioning booster seat until the seat belt would fit properly without the booster. This is typically between the ages of 8 and 12 when the child reaches 4 feet 9 inches in height.