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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Child Car Seat Safety

A recent study found that many children in car seats manage to unbuckle the seatbelt on their own and they do so at very young ages.

A team of researchers led by Dr. Lilia B. Reyes, a clinical fellow in the department of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine, surveyed 378 parents and found that just over half reported that at least one of their children had managed to unbuckle a seatbelt in a car seat at some point.

Of the children who unbuckled their seatbelts, 75 percent were aged 3 or younger; some were as old as six years. Some unbuckled their seatbelts as young as 12 months. Boys were more likely to do so than girls (59 percent vs. 42 percent).

More than 40 percent of the children who unbuckled their seatbelts did so while the car was moving, increasing the risk of serious injury by 3.5-fold. Most parents responded that they pulled the car over and reprimanded the child and rebuckled the car seat.

Very young children haven't developed enough yet to realize the dangers of unbuckling their car seat. If you want more information on car seat safety, check out these links:

AAP Updates Recommendations on Car Seats (American Academy of Pediatrics)

Car Safety for You and Your Baby (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists)

Car Seat Safety: Avoid 10 Common Mistakes (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Child Passenger Safety: A Parent's Primer (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) - PDF

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