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How Parents Continue to Fail Child Safety Seats Use

By Joel Arellano | September 15, 2011
So, you think you know how to properly strap junior or his little sister in their car seats, right? Ready to show off those mad skills to the experts, though? Yup, you're right to get the cliff notes. Safe Kids USA, an international association of organizations aimed to prevent injuries to children, just released a study highlighting  the lack of skills parents and other caregivers have when it comes to properly securing child safety seats in their vehicles. The study was the largest of its kind, involving nearly 80,000 child safety seat inspections performed over a year. It revealed that more than two-thirds of parents failed to properly attach the top tether strap of the seat, especially if it was a backwards-facing seat. And only 59 percent of the caregivers used the tether correctly in forward-facing seats. Safe Kids Buckle Up says proper use of the top tether strap is vital since it helps protect the child's head in car accidents, which are still the leading cause of children's death ages 3-14 per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The SKBU study comes just before National Child Passenger Safety Week which starts on Sunday, September 18th and runs through the 24th. The NHTSA is providing inspection stations across the U.S. which can found at its Child Seat Inspection Stations. You can also find plenty of tips on keeping children safe while driving. Besides the top tether issue, the SKBU study also reveals nearly 100 percent of today's cars are compatible with children booster and safety seats; 98 percent of parents continue to keep children 13 years and younger in the back row; and 91 percent of parents knew how they obtained the seats (i.e., purchased, from friends, family, gift, etc.) Automotive.com's take: Children safety is always a concern here among the Automotive.com staff who always make sure our littlest passengers are properly strapped in no matter the vehicle. What tips or tricks do you do to keep your children safe? Let us know in the comments below.
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