While the American Academy of Pediatrics encourages children under 57 inches to use a booster seat – the average height of an 11-year-old – parents often allow their child to ride in someone else’s car without one, the study found.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 3 to 14.
For the study, more than 1,600 parents responded to a survey about carpooling and using safety seats. About 75 percent reported their child used a safety seat when riding in the family car. Among the parents who carpool, however, 21 percent indicated they do not always ask another driver to use a booster seat for their child. Additionally, 45 percent reported they do not always have their child use their booster seat when carpooling with a friend who does not have a booster.
Researchers concluded that social norms may be affected whether parents use booster seats. State laws pertaining to child safety seats also vary.
Visit the AAP website to read their car seat safety guidelines.
Sources: Pediatrics, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
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