JPMA, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Safe Kids Worldwide Partner to Clarify Recommendations on Car Seat Safety

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In recognition of Child Passenger Safety Week, four leading authorities on car seat safety – Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Safe Kids Worldwide – have teamed up to clarify the safest practices and help parents more easily choose and correctly use car seats and booster seats.

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“We brought four leading organizations together to provide clear best practices and resources, helping parents and caregivers protect the children they care for. JPMA is proud to partner with AAP, NHTSA and Safe Kids Worldwide to bring that to life today," JPMA Executive Director Kelly Mariotti.

In recognition of Child Passenger Safety Week, four leading authorities on car seat safety – Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Safe Kids Worldwide – have teamed up to clarify the safest practices and help parents more easily choose and correctly use car seats and booster seats.

With conflicting guidelines including varying state laws, model-specific instructions and a wide range of interpretations, parents are often confused about how to select, install and use the correct car seat or booster seat for their child.

According to the latest interactive observation research, the 2017 National Survey of the Use of Booster Seats (NSUBS), many children are prematurely transitioned to less safe forms of restraint before they outgrow the height or weight limits. As a result, these children may have an increased likelihood of injury in a crash.

To help clarify best practices, today a panel of experts, including JPMA Executive Director Kelly Mariotti, Dr. Mark Zonfrillo with AAP, Brian Barnard with NHTSA and Lorrie Walker with Safe Kids Worldwide, came together to share tips to help parents with common points of confusion.

WHAT PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT CAR SEAT AND BOOSTER SEAT SAFETY:

  • Children progress through four modes of restraint as they grow: rear-facing car seat, forward-facing car seat with harnesses, booster seat with lap and shoulder belt, and seat belt.
  • To help ensure maximum protection, parents should delay transition to the next restraint mode for as long as possible in accordance with manufacturer instructions.
  • Infants, toddlers and small children should ride rear-facing in a car seat for as long as allowed by manufacturer instructions.
  • Use of tethers for forward-facing car seats is critical to protect a child's head in the event of a crash. This is a commonly-skipped step in the safe installation of forward-facing car seats.
  • Parents and caregivers should carefully review and always follow manufacturer instructions for both the car seat and the vehicle when choosing and using car seats.
  • Children should be restrained in an appropriate car seat, booster seat or with the vehicle’s seat belt for every trip, every time.
  • Children should ride in the rear seat of a vehicle until they are at least 13 years old and should be properly restrained in a booster seat with the lap and shoulder belt until they are ready to transition to the vehicle seat belt only. To find out when they are ready for this transition, visit http://www.ultimatecarseatguide.com.
  • Parents who have questions about using car seats correctly should contact the manufacturer's customer service, find educational resources in their area or consult with a child passenger safety technician in their area.

FACTS ABOUT CAR SEAT AND BOOSTER SEAT USE:

  • With each older age group, the number of children restrained in the correct car seat or seat belt decreases, and the percentage of children in the correct category of child restraint further decreases.
  • Car seat inspectors find that between 73 percent and 90 percent of seats checked have at least one usage error and most have multiple errors, which may reduce car seat effectiveness.
  • Only about half of children ages 4-7 are restrained in a booster seat after they transition from a car seat.
  • Tweens are the highest unrestrained age group, and it is imperative that they buckle up properly using a seat belt once it fits properly after transitioning from a booster seat.

“To protect children from violent crash forces, car seats and seat belts should be used correctly on every ride,” said Mariotti. “We brought four leading organizations together to provide clear best practices and resources, helping parents and caregivers protect the children they care for. We all want families to feel confident making important decisions about their children's safety, and JPMA is proud to partner with AAP, NHTSA and Safe Kids Worldwide to bring that to life today.”

JPMA, AAP, NHTSA and Safe Kids Worldwide are committed to simplifying these important decisions for parents to increase proper car seat use, reduce injuries and save lives. For more information and helpful resources, visit http://www.jpma.org/parents.

Additionally, for parents in the Washington, DC, area, JPMA will host a free car seat and booster seat check event on Sat., Sept. 29, 2018 at Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan, 215 G Street NE, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

QUOTES

Dr. Mark Zonfrillo, Executive Committee for the Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics
“While we have a high rate of restraints in infants, toddlers and younger children, there are still disparities and gaps in those who are restrained and restrained properly,” said Dr. Mark Zonfrillo of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Children should ride rear-facing to the maximum weight or height allowed by the car seat manufacturer, and forward-facing with harnesses to the respective height or weight limit.”

Heidi King, Deputy Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
"You don’t have to be a parent to play an important role in protecting children,” said Heidi King of NHTSA. “I urge everyone to follow these simple tips to ensure kids stay safe in the car at every age. We are pleased to work with our safety partners to make sure that the best possible information is available to protect our most precious and vulnerable passengers.”

Lorrie Walker, Training Manager and Technical Advisor, Safe Kids Worldwide
“It’s critical for parents and caregivers to understand that child passenger safety is a long-term commitment,” said Lorrie Walker of Safe Kids Worldwide. “It can take eight to 12 years before your child is ready to ride with a seat belt alone. Parents should plan for their child to use three different car seats over this period and stay in each one until the height or weight requirement is fully met.”

About JPMA
The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) is the voice of the industry on quality and safety for baby and children's products in North America. We do this by:

  • Advocating for safety through product certification programs and legislative and regulatory involvement;
  • Supporting a broad and diverse membership through member-only programming and industry promotion;
  • And by acting as a comprehensive source for baby product information and education.

JPMA members represent 95 percent of the prenatal to preschool products sold in North America.

To find out more about JPMA, our certification program and products certified, and for a complete listing of JPMA members, please visit http://www.jpma.org. Follow JPMA on Twitter @JPMA and connect with us on Facebook to learn about additional safety tips and JPMA initiatives.

About AAP
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit http://www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.

About NHTSA
For more than four decades, the U.S. DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has served as the key federal agency charged with improving safety on our nation’s roadways. The agency’s mission is to save lives, prevent injuries and reduce economic costs due to road traffic crashes through education, enforcement, safety standards and research. NHTSA promotes seat belts and child safety seat use; helps states and local communities address the threat of drunk and drug-impaired drivers; regulates safety standards and investigates safety defects in motor vehicles; conducts research on driver behavior and traffic safety; and provides consumer information on issues ranging from checking for open recalls to child vehicular heatstroke. For more information, visit http://www.nhtsa.gov.

About Safe Kids Worldwide
Safe Kids Worldwide is a nonprofit organization working to protect children from preventable injuries, the No. 1 cause of death for kids in the United States. Safe Kids works with an extensive network of more than 400 coalitions in the U.S. and with partners in more than 30 countries to reduce traffic injuries, drownings, falls, burns, poisonings and more. Since 1988, Safe Kids has helped reduce the U.S. childhood death rate from unintentional injury by 60 percent. Learn how to keep all kids safe at http://www.safekids.org.

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Hannah Amick
JPMA
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