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Study finds parents struggle with proper safety-seat use

Wed, 14 Sep 2011

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for kids ages three to 14, and a study released by New Safe Kids USA on Sept. 15--pegged to draw attention to National Child Passenger Safety Week, which starts on Sept. 18--shows that while parents are getting better in the proper use of child safety seats, there is room for improvement.

The study shows that many drivers are using child safety seats improperly. Using data from 79,000 child-safety-seat inspections, the study found that less than a third of people use the important top tether that hooks the child seat to the vehicle. Of those who do use the top tether, only 59 percent are doing so correctly.

In encouraging news, parents are doing a better job of keeping children in rear-facing seats for a longer period. Ninety-one percent of parents know the history of their car seats, and 98 percent of caregivers keep kids 13 and younger in a rear seat.

Safe Kids USA will host more than 400 car-seat checkup events during National Child Passenger Safety Week. Visit for details.

By Julie Alvin