Monday, November 21, 2011

Child Seat Belt Safety: Over 75-percent failure rate

According to, a new University of Michigan study says American children, aged 4 to 9, use an improperly fitting seat belt when they ride in cars. Here’s the breakdown:
  • 37% of the drivers said their 4- to 9-year-old passengers use seat belts
  • More than 75% said the seat belts did not fit properly
  • 44% reported improper shoulder belt position
  • Improper lap belt position was reported in 62% of cases 
At least one improper belt position was reported by 78% of drivers of 4- to 6-year-old children, 77% of 7- to 8-year-old children and 79% of 9-year-old children," the study authors reported in the November issue of the journal Academic Pediatrics. 
Although no state laws require kids over 8 years old continue using booster seats, experts agree that height is a better indicator than age. The average height of an 11-year-old (57 inches) is best, but most parents are foregoing the booster seat for the seat belt around the age of nine.

For more information:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about child passenger safety.

What do you think? Do you agree with the CDC's guidelines, or do you think they are being too cautious?

-Lisa Bakewell

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