Booster Seat Blues

bigstock-Car-Seat-Isolated-7593732According to a report by Reuters Health, a new survey supports past research findings indicating that minority children too often are not placed in booster seats and car seats appropriate for their age.   The study, conducted by pediatrician Michelle L. Macy at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, is based on surveys of 600 parents of children ages 1 to 12.  The surveys revealed that:

  • Across all ages, white parents were between 3 and 4 times more likely to report using age-appropriate seats for their kids than non-white parents;
  • Among 4 to 7 year olds, two times as many non-white children sat in the front seat as white children; and
  • For other age groups, there were no differences found based upon race.

Appropriate car seat use is very important for children, as it can reduce injuries in a crash by 45 to 59 percent.  The reasons for the differences in car seat use were not clear from the study.  Apparently, however, the disparities could not be explained by differences in family income, parental education, or sources of information.

Source:  Doyle, Kathryn, “Minority children use appropriate car seats less often,” Reuters Health, January 13, 2014

More work clearly needs to be done to understand the reasons for the differences in car seat use, and to work to increase age-appropriate car and booster seat use for minority children.

–Janell Mayo Duncan

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