Are you following the rules for car seat safety with kids? Well of course you are – you wouldn’t be the kind of person who risks kids’ life in a car accident, would you? Even if they don’t like having to follow the rules, you’re the responsible adult and help them to see sense, right?
Wrong. And we have proof…..!

Car Seat Safety with Kids – the Research

Child car seat
Data collectors observed drivers with child passengers as they drove into gas stations, fast-food restaurants, recreation centers and child care facilities. They recorded the type of booster seats or other restraints being used by the children, where the children sat and if the children were boys or girls. They also noted the type of restraints used by the adults and the type of car they were driving.
The researchers also interviewed the drivers to learn their age as well as the ages of all the children riding in the car. The drivers also gave the race and ethnicity of the child passengers.

Car Seat Safety with Kids – Rules Recap

Please remember this is a B.C. (Canada) based blog. Your rules may be different!
A very quick review to remind you! There are four stages of child seating and restraint systems in total:

  1. Infants: required to sit in rear-facing car seats until they are at least 12 months old and over 9kg (20 lbs).
  2. Toddlers: required to sit in forward-facing car seats with booster seats when the child is at least a year old and over 9 kg (20 lbs). They should continue to be buckled into this type of seat until they are 18 kg (40 lbs).
  3. Under 9: required to be in booster seats with seat belts when the child is under nine years of age or until they have reached the height of 145 cm (4’9”) tall.
  4. Youth: A properly adjusted seat belt is the last stage for anyone over 9 years age.

The ICBC guidelines as a booklet (PDF) and The BCAA’s website.

Car Seat Safety with Kids – the Results

“We found that few children remain rear-facing after age 1, fewer than 2 percent use booster seats after age 7, many over age 6 sit in the front seat,” Macy said.
“Hispanic and black children were even less likely to use age-appropriate restraints than white children.”

  • After age 1 the (B.C.) guidance is ‘Keep them rear-facing as long as possible’.
  • In B.C. booster seats are needed until at least age nine. This is also the age at which you may consider having them in the front seat.

The researchers also said that “As children aged, a decline in child safety seat use and an increase in being unrestrained were observed.”
Car seat pointers

Car Seat Safety with Kids – Action points

So, we ask you again: “Are you following the rules for car safety with kids?” Did/do you even know the rules.
If you are, congratulations, come on over to Facebook and tell us what you think of our blog so far.
If you’re not, then don’t worry (too much) simply take this chance to decide what needs correcting and then do it. If you don’t know the local laws, look them up. If you’re not following them, decide what needs correcting and do it. Now. Your kids life could be at risk.
Thanks to the American Journal of Preventative Medicine for their news release covering this research (PDF) and Healthday for bringing it to my attention!