Sure, you buckle your 7-year-old into her booster seat whenever she rides in your car. But what happens when she carpools to soccer practice with her friends?
It turns out that while most parents of kids ages 4-8 report using a booster seat when their child rides in the family car, more than 30 percent responding to a new survey said they let their kids skip the booster seat when riding with another driver. And 45 percent said they don’t make their own kids use a booster seat when driving with other children who do not have one.
The research, from the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, appears online today in Pediatrics.
Most states require children to use a booster seat, and the national recommendation is for use of booster seats until a child is 57 inches tall, the average height of an 11-year-old.
Around 70 percent of parents carpool kids at least some of the time. Yes, it can be a hassle to arrange with other parents for kids to bring their own booster. And yes, it can be tough to fit them all in the car, but it’s worth it. Prior research has shown that children ages 4-8 are 45 percent less likely to be injured in a crash with a booster than if they were using seatbelts alone. Leaving the booster at home means leaving kids at risk.
Get information on keeping kids of all ages safe in the car from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. http://www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/CPS