When it comes to their safety, kids need a boost to stay safe. But a recent study focusing on toddlers to young children suggests that less and less booster seats are being used correctly or used at all. That’s bad news for the little ones.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, responsible for the findings, fears a slide from the major push for automotive child safety started in 2000.
“Risking the safety of future generations by letting children ride unrestrained is not acceptable. Seat belts and car seats save lives and need to be used on every trip,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
The report collected information from 2013 to 2015. The findings show a nearly 2% drop in 4 to 7 year olds properly using booster seats. What’s even sadder about the findings is that not even half have been using them in the first place. In 2013 that number fell at 46.3%. For 2015 only 44.5%.
Furthermore in the same segment of 4 to 7 years olds 37.4% weren’t being properly buckled in at all. Yes proper restraint varies based on a child’s height and weight, just like comfy shoes. But of those not proper restrained 11.6% weren’t buckled in at all. That’s over one in ten cute little kids in danger on every car trip.
The study found about 14% of 1 to 3 year olds are getting moved up from baby seats to booster seats too early in 2015. That marks a nearly 6% increase from only 9.3% two years earlier.
For some reason girls appear to be singled out in the study. The report specifically says for girls ages 8 to 12 the proper restraint fell 8 percent. That means only 82.6% were properly buckled in 2015.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, this study directly connects child automotive mortality rates. Congress passed a mandate requiring improved child restraints in 2000. The original mandate helped reduce the death and injury rate by 25 percent.