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Parents Are Transitioning Their Kids From Car Seats Too Soon, Survey Says

“We know there is a lot of information out there for parents to digest when it comes to proper car seat usage. Our recent survey tells us there is still room for improvement across the industry.”
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By Nehal Aggarwal, Editor
Updated June 22, 2020
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According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), using car or booster seats correctly can help decrease the risk of injury or death by over 70 percent. However, a recent survey by Chicco, a manufacturer of children’s car seats, is finding that parents still have some confusion about car seats, especially when it comes to milestone moments.

The survey looked at 1,000 parents all with kids aged 0 to 10 years old. Of those surveyed, 33 percent had one child, 42 percent had two kids, 17 percent had three kids and 8 percent had four or more kids. In the survey, 42 percent of parents incorrectly stated that 10-year-olds are too old for car seats. In reality, according to the AAP, the amount of time a child uses a car seat should be more dependent on their height and weight rather than their age.

The survey found that these confusions came notably around “milestone moments.” Of the respondents, 61 percent incorrectly think they should transition their child to a booster seat with a seat belt once the child meets the minimum size requirements of the booster. Plus, 20 percent of parents incorrectly believe that they should change the car seat from rear to forward-facing once their child’s legs were too long and touch the back of the vehicle’s seat. Plus, one in 10 parents believe they should make the switch when baby turns one-year-old. According to the AAP, however, “Children should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible, up to the limits of their car safety seat. This will include virtually all children under 2 years of age and most children up to age 4.”

When it came to choosing a car seat, parents said they focused on safety features (69 percent), child fit, (39 percent) and ease of installation (24 percent). However, one in two parents might be missing key safety information. While, 92 percent of respondents said they felt confident when installing their child’s car seat, only 52 percent said they use the manual or watch car seat videos (46 percent).

“Parent education is a critical focus of our work at Chicco and we’ve made great strides in communicating with parents, as well as taking their feedback and translating it into product innovations that improve the user experience for both the parent and child,” William Hasse, Vice President of Marketing, Chicco USA, said in a press release. “We know there is a lot of information out there for parents to digest when it comes to proper car seat usage…Our recent survey tells us there is still room for improvement across the industry and we’re eager to partner with parents to provide clear instructions and resources for proper car seat usage and peace of mind.”

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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