AAA: Consumers Don't See Booster Seat as Necessity for Children

By: AAA Release
By: AAA Release

Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Week is September 18-24.

TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 19, 2011) —

About one in four consumers (24%) said they do not believe it is necessary for a child to use a booster seat after they have outgrown their car seat, shows a AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey, conducted by the Auto Club South Traffic Safety Foundation. Some of the reasons cited by those who do not think a booster seat is necessary are that a safety belt is appropriate (76%), the law doesn’t require the use of a booster seat (15%), and they’ve never heard of a booster seat (14%).

AAA, the Auto Club South Traffic Safety Foundation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and St. Joseph's Children's Hospital will host a brief press conference Friday, Sept. 23, at 10 a.m. to discuss the dangers of hyperthermia as it relates to the Tampa Bay area and the importance of booster seats in recognition of Child Passenger Safety Week. The press conference will be held at the AAA office on Westshore, 1515 N Westshore Blvd., Tampa, 33607.

“The latest research shows children are safer when riding in a booster until they are 4’9” tall,” said John Pecchio, AAA Traffic Safety Manager. “While there may not be a law that mandates children use a booster seat, the law doesn’t always dictate best practice when it comes to a child's safety.”

The majority of consumers (85%) favor an appropriate safety restraint requirement law for children between the ages of four and seven, according to the AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey. However, 29 percent of residents who drive with children between the ages of four and seven do not always use a front-facing safety seat or booster seat.

“AAA asks parents and anyone who drives with a child in their vehicle, to check the installation of their car seat or ask a professional to ensure their child is properly restrained when traveling in a vehicle,” said Pecchio. “It’s sad to know that national data shows eight out of 10 children are not safely secured in their car seats.”

Child Passenger Safety Best Practices Include:

Always read the car seat manufacturer’s instructions and vehicle owner’s manual.
Keep children rear-facing as long as possible – until they are two-years-old and reach the upper weight or height limit of their rear-facing convertible seat. This will usually be around 30-35 pounds.
Once children outgrow the upper weight or height limit of their rear-facing convertible seats, they can ride in a forward-facing child safety seat.
Children should use a forward-facing child safety seat until they reach the maximum weight (usually 40-65 lbs.) or height for the harness.
Children should ride in a booster seat until they are 4’9” tall.
Move children to adult lap/shoulder belts when they are at least 4' 9" tall (which usually happens between ages 8 and 12) and the vehicle safety belt fits properly.
Vehicle safety belts fit properly when the lap belt is snug across their hips, not the stomach, and the shoulder belt crosses at the shoulder and continues over the chest, not the face or neck.
For all children under age 13, the back seat is the safest place.
Established in 2010 by AAA Auto Club South, the Auto Club South Traffic Safety Foundation, Inc. (ACSTSF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to achieving a significant and continuous reduction in traffic crashes, injuries and deaths in Florida, Georgia and middle/west Tennessee communities. ACSTSF is funded by voluntary, tax-deductible contributions from organizations and individuals who support ACSTSF’s purpose.

The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in AAA Auto Club South territory from August 22 – 25, 2011. A total of 612 residents completed the survey. The survey has a maximum margin of error of +/- 4.0 percentage points. Overall survey responses are weighted by gender and age within state to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.

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