(PRWEB) September 25, 2012
The new NHTSA study, released recently to kick off "Child Passenger Safety Week," said that parents and caregivers make five common, but significant mistakes in child car seat safety. The mistakes may occur, in part, because adults do not read the instructions before putting in the seats, according to the survey findings.
The child car seat safety survey was conducted by certified child passenger technicians in 24 geographic locations within the United States. The technicians made 4,167 child car seat safety inspections and interviewed the drivers.
In a statement announcing the child car seat safety survey results, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood urged parents and caregivers to protect children by making sure that kids are in the correct seat for their size and age and by properly installing the seats.
The NHTSA study showed that mistakes adults made in child car seat safety included:
•Using the wrong harness slot. Children are secured in the seats with harness straps. Most straps were found to be too high or too low.
•Placing the harness chest clip over the child’s abdomen, instead of over the chest, or not using it at all.
•Installing the car seat too loosely. The restraint system moved more than one inch, which according to the NHTSA, is too much.
•A too-loose harness. There should be no slack between the harness strap and the child. The survey showed more than two inches of total slack.
•Wrong placement of seat belt. The shoulder belt rested on the child's neck or face while the lap belt was over the stomach.
The report also said that 90 percent of child car seat safety survey respondents felt "very confident" or "confident" that they had correctly installed the booster or car seats in their automobiles. Further, the child car seat safety report showed that 20 percent of drivers said that they did not read instructions on how to properly install child restraints in their vehicles.
NHTSA officials encouraged parents to read the instructions as well as a check list from Safe Kids USA. Safe Kids USA is a national network of organizations with a goal of preventing unintentional injuries of children. Among the items on Safe Kids USA’s check list are:
•Reducing a child's risk of injury by making sure child restraints are used correctly.
•Giving the car seat a "good shake" at its base after installing it. If you can move it more than an inch from front to back and from side to side, then it is not properly installed.
•Making sure your child is facing in the right direction. Young children should be kept in a rear-facing car seat. When they outgrow that seat, then place them in a forward-facing car seat.
Child Passenger Safety Week ends Sept. 22, 2012, with Safe Kids USA's, "National Seat Check Saturday." With support from the General Motors Foundation, Safe Kids USA will hold child seat inspections across the country.
For more information on the NHTSA's National Child Restraint Use Special Study, go to http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811679.pdf.
To find a Safe Kids USA’s “National Seat Check Saturday” event in your area, go to http://www.safekids.org/in-your-area/car-seat-check-up-events/