Results from new research by the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) highlights potential safety hazards when it comes to children staying properly restrained in child seats. The study was led by Lilia B. Reyes, MD, clinical fellow in the Department of Pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine. PAS surveyed 378 parents with children ages six years and younger. Parents were asked when their children began to self-unbuckle themselves while in vehicle restraint systems.
The results from the study are as follows:
- 51% of the parents reported that their children unbuckled their child safety seats while in vehicles;
- 43% of the children that unbuckled themselves did so while the vehicles were in motion;
- 75% of the children unbuckling their child seats were three years of age or younger, with the youngest reported age being 12 months;
- More boys than girls unbuckled themselves (59% were boys; 42% were girls).
The study performed by PAS was a pilot study and does not address the issue of whether the child restraints were installed properly. Read more about the study, "Little fingers, big trouble," which was released on May 1, 2011.
Kevin Jones is a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. He volunteers for Children's Hospital in Birmingham, where he installs child safety seats for the public. Email Kevin Jones.