Study: Parents Don't Use Booster Seats For Their Kids When Carpooling

By Blake Z. Rong | January 31, 2012
Do carpooling parents know how to use child booster seats? According to a study from the Universities of Michigan and Colorado, even if they do, they're certainly not consistent about it. Booster seats fall into the category for kids who are too big for child seats, but still slip under a seatbelt. Depending on size and Pee Wee sports league placement, kids who need a booster seat are usually 4 to 8 years old. The parents of these children almost always use a safety seat when they're driving in their own car, to the rate of 76 percent of parents surveyed—but when it came to riding with others, these booster seat habits fell by the wayside. Some parents asked others in their carpool to place their kids in seats, but the figure fell to just 64 percent of parents. And if they were driving, just 55 percent made their child used a booster seat, even when other children weren't in them.
Perhaps most distressing is the fact that just 29 percent of these parents knew what age their states' booster seat laws required for children. 47 states have booster seat laws, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children stay in booster seats until they are 4-feet 9-inches. So are parents simply misinformed? Probably not, but their own child-coddling habits tend to lapse when they mingle with other parents, and a different set of beliefs. And one way of ensuring that children remain safe inside cars all the time, conclude the study's authors, is for pediatricians to discuss with parents how to use booster seats and why it's important to do so, even in other people's cars. Source: Los Angeles Times