Parents and guardians of 7-year-olds appear much too eager to allow their children to ride in vehicles only with lap and shoulder belts rather than in booster seats, says AAA Northeast.
An analysis of data from the UCONN Crash Data Repository indicates that in 2020, less than half (47%) of 7-year-olds were properly restrained in a booster seat or other child restraint. The majority, however, used only seatbelts while a handful were unrestrained.
AAA released these findings to highlight National CPS Week today through Saturday.
“More work must be done to educate parents about Connecticut’s child passenger safety (CPS) seat law,” says Fran Mayko, AAA Northeast spokeswoman.
“The law is working,” added Mayko, “But safety advocates have much more work to do to persuade parents to keep older children in boosters.”
Connecticut’s CPS law requires children must remain in a booster seat or a seat with a 5-point harness until they reach 8 years old and 60 pounds. It also requires infants to ride rear facing until they are two years old and weigh at least 30 pounds.
A national consumer survey also found more than half (52%) of all car seats inspected are incorrectly installed or used. The three most common error, which make car seats less effective in protecting children in a crash, include:
- Car seats that are too loose when secured in a vehicle.
- Failure to use the car seat’s tether strap along with a vehicle’s lower latches or seat belt in forward-facing seats; and
- Not tightening the car seat’s harness straps enough when securing the child in the seat.