If you’re a parent of a young child, you may already know what researchers at Yale University’s School of Medicine recently found: kids as young as 12 months old may be able to unbuckle their car seat restraint, reports MSNBC.
Plus: New AAP Car Seat Safety Guidelines
The findings, presented yesterday at the Pediatric Academic Societies’ annual meeting in Denver, are from a survey of 378 parents of young children in Connecticut. A team of researchers led by Dr. Lilia B. Reyes, a clinical fellow in the department of pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine, found that 51% of parents reported that at least one of their kids had unbuckled their car seat, and of these, 75% were age 3 or younger. Unfortunately, 43% of the children who unfastened their restraint did so while the car was in motion. Also, 59% of the kids who unbuckled themselves were boys.
Plus: Car Seat Mistakes You May Be Making
The findings are particularly alarming as car accidents are the leading cause of death among four- to eight-year-olds, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Parents were not asked as part of the study if they were sure they had buckled the seat belt correctly, so worried parents should make sure they’ve read their manual and use the seat correctly. Better designed belts or perhaps an alarm system that lets parents know when when kids unbuckle might be necessarily to really address the problem.
Plus: A Pediatrician Answers Your Rear-Facing Car Seat Questions
Has your child ever unbuckled his car seat? Were you driving when it happened?