Apparently it’s not just dads who are doing it wrong. So are moms. In fact it turns out just about everybody is installing car seats the wrong way as three out of four car seats are installed incorrectly, according to a new survey from AAA.
“Too often, we see kids who are in a car seat that’s installed incorrectly or not using an age-appropriate booster seat,” says Michele Harris, director of traffic safety culture, AAA – The Auto Club Group.
The news comes during Child Passenger Safety Week which runs Sept. 14-20.
“As we recognize Child Passenger Safety Week… it’s a timely reminder to be sure children are safe and secure in the right seat for them,” adds Harris.
One of the most frequent car seat mistakes is the positioning of harness straps. If straps are too loose, children will not be properly restrained in the event of a crash. This may subject them to higher crash forces, or even ejection from the seat altogether. Harness straps should lie flat and not have any twists. The harness should be snug enough that you cannot pinch any extra material at the child’s shoulder.
With schools back in session, carpooling among parents increases, which can result in situations where children are not riding in a car seat or booster seat.
A recent AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey found that it’s difficult to make arrangements to have booster seats available for other people’s children.
The use of booster seats can reduce injuries by 45 percent compared to using an adult safety belt alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Children who have outgrown their five-point harness car seat by weight or height should use a booster seat until they reach 4’9’’, typically between the ages of 8-12.
For younger children using a five-point harness car seat, many hospitals offer car seat installation classes and car seat inspection stations provide certified child passenger safety technicians to inspect seats to make sure they are installed properly. To find an inspection station or learn more, visit SafeSeats4Kids.AAA.com.