A recent study from the University of Michigan's Pediatric Trauma Program strikes a chord with me that parents need reminders on child passenger safety throughout their child's life. As a new parent, you were inundated with tips about how to keep your child safe. As a result, you may know to put your child in a rear-facing child car seat as an infant — but what to do after that may be unclear.
The study looked at Michigan-based Safe Kids Coalitions' car seat inspection data from 2013. Among car seat inspections for children already born, 10 percent were conducted for booster seats and half were conducted for rear-facing car seats. Researchers noted that many older children were at the inspection only because parents were getting a younger sibling's seat checked. However, older children were far more likely than younger to leave the event in a more protective restraint that what they arrived in.
This tells me that parents know to be concerned about whether they have properly restrained their infants and toddlers. But they may not know just how long children need to be in supplemental child restraints in the rear seat and why this is so. There's a quick primer above, according to current American Academy of Pediatrics child passenger safety recommendations.
CHOP provides popular resources to help parents figure out how best to protect their children in cars, including the website Car Seat Safety for Kids with videos on choosing and installing car seats, as well as car seat inspections stations and check events staffed by certified child passenger safety technicians.
The fact that CHOP invests that sort of effort and expense on this topic should tell parents how important appropriate restraint use is for your kids. It's worth it for you, too! Take the time to make every ride a safe ride for your children, even when they are older.