Half of kids being transported without safety seats

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Booster Seat

Booster seats are important for safety, but many parents are not using them consistently. Image: Flickr / sharpener / CC-BY-SA

Booster seats are intended to keep children who are too large for car seats, but not yet adult sized, safe in cars. A new survey has found that many parents do not use booster seats in carpool situations, which can be very risky.

Why booster seats

Booster seats are an in between solution for children that have outgrown car seats, but are still under 4 feet 9 inches tall. These booster seats help raise kids up and keep seat belts positioned correctly on their bodies. If children wear seat belts without a booster seat, then the improperly placed belt can cause serious internal and external injuries.

Booster seat use

Published in the journal Pediatrics, a study recently considered booster seat use by parents. 76 percent of parents do use booster seats for their 4 to 8 year old children when they are driving in their own vehicles. When kids that age are being transported in carpools or in vehicles not belonging to their parents, then booster seat use drops significantly. Only 79 percent of parents ask if the person transporting their children even have booster seats. Half of parents don’t make their children use booster seats when there are other children in the car that do not have booster seats.

[Sandy Springs Scion Atlanta has vehicles with built-in booster seats.]

The importance of boosters

Car accidents are the number one cause of death for all children ages 3 to 14. Car accidents where children are wearing a seat belt but not a booster seat suffered very severe injuries. There are several commercial solutions, including inflatable booster seats that can be easily stored in the trunk of a vehicle. Many new vehicles can also be purchased with built-in booster seats, which provide the safest options for carpools or individuals that will be transporting children on a regular basis.


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