Sadly, most kids are not as secure in cars as they should be because their car seats are not being properly used, according to a NHTSA study. This misuse places children at a tremendous and unnecessary risk when traveling. Many parents and caregivers also move their children up to the next restraint type too soon. That’s why hands-on inspections and instruction is so important. Parents and caregivers need to make certain they and their kids are buckled up properly on every trip, every time. Proper use of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts will help reduce the number of deaths and injuries occurring on America’s roadways.
This year’s theme is “Put them in the Right Seat, at the Right Time, and use it the Right Way!” The theme aims at making sure all parents and caregivers are properly securing their children from birth through age 12 in the right car restraint (rear-facing, forward-facing, booster, seat belt) for their age and size. Although parents may try hard to safely restrain their children, nationally, three out of four kids are not as secure in the car as they should be because their car seats are not being used correctly (NHTSA).
Everyday children ride in cars without the proper restraints. It is imperative to have children in the correct type of restraint. It is noted that often parents want to move a child into the next step before they are ready. In addition, parents of special needs children have to take caution and make sure proper measures are taken while traveling in a vehicle.
According to American Academy of Pediatrics:
- Rear-facing until highest weight/height limit allowed by the car seat
- Until at least age 2 years
- Forward facing with full harness until highest weight/height limit allowed by the car seat
- No sooner than 4 years old and 40 pounds
- Booster seat until at least age 8
- Begin use of lap/shoulder belt only when 80 pounds and 4 feet 9 inches tall, 8-12 years old
- Children age 12 and under ride in the back seat whenever possible
- Airbags can be dangerous to children
In 2010, 655 children (age 12 and younger in a passenger vehicle) were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, 64% of whom were restrained.
Also in 2010, an estimated 119,000 children (age 12 and younger in a passenger vehicle) were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes.
Shriners Hospitals for Children® is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research, and outstanding medical education. The Philadelphia hospital provides care for congenital and acquired orthopaedic conditions as well as acute and rehabilitative care for children with spinal cord injuries.
To learn more:
Please attend the “Child Passenger Safety: What We All Need to Know” Presentation on Friday, September 21st at 12 noon in the 9th floor Conference Center at Shriners Hospitals for Children-Philadelphia
Learn about the most current recommendations regarding vehicle safety seats to keep children safe when traveling.
 U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
 Based on the latest mortality data currently available from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.