New Study Reminds Us Just How Important Car Seat Safety Is

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With all the recent advancements made in the field of car seat safety, one would think children are more protected than ever when traveling in a vehicle, and for the most part, they are, as long as their seats are installed correctly. However, a recent study released by Safe Kids Worldwide (SKW) estimated that up to 64 percent of children are riding in forward-facing seats that have not been installed correctly.

The study, which was conducted in 2016, showed the majority of seats examined had been placed without the use of a tether. A seat’s tether is the long strap attached in the back that can be fastened to anchors in the car specifically dedicated to that task. According to SKW, all vehicles manufactured after 2001 are required to have at least three tether anchors.

“Our research shows many parents don’t know about the tether and don’t realize that their child is not fully protected,” said Lorrie Walker, Child Passenger Safety Expert for Safe Kids Worldwide. “We want to fix that.”

SKW Tether Infographic
Photo Courtesy of Safe Kids Worldwide

While the idea of a tether may seem silly to some, it plays a vital role in keeping a child passenger safe in the event of an accident. Without it, the seat could potentially pitch forward up to six inches – an event that could result in potentially life-threatening injuries.

The study’s release coincides with National Child Passenger Safety Week, an event running from September 17-23. Of course, the first step in keeping your child safe is being aware of professional guidelines regarding car seat safety.

The website provides information from pediatricians within the American Academy of Pediatrics. According to the site, all infants and toddlers under two years of age should remain rear-facing. In fact, it is encouraged for children to remain in the rear-facing position until they meet the height and weight requirements of their car seats.

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