(KDKZ-TV) Kids often want to act like grownups, but experts say having children ride in cars the way mom and dad do is something that should be put off as long as possible.
A study from Safe Kids Worldwide found that the majority of parents are moving their children to seat belts before they are big enough. Kate Carr, Safe Kids president and chief executive, said that’s troubling because booster seats can reduce injuries by 45 percent over seat belt use alone.
“If there were to be a crash and they weren’t in a booster seat but just in a regular seat belt,” she said, “they could likely suffer internal abdominal injuries or face or neck injuries caused by the belt tightening during the impact of the crash.”
One in five parents surveyed said he or she bends the rules, particularly when car-pooling, and allows children to ride without seat belts or an appropriate child safety seat.
A child should be at least 4-foot-9 to ride with just a seat belt, and Carr suggested that parents make a habit out of measuring their children as they grow.
“Know how tall your child is,” she said, “and encourage them from an early age that, ‘You’ll move out of the booster seat when you hit 4 feet 9 inches tall.’ And when they’re 4 feet 9 inches tall, make sure they’re buckled up every ride, every time – and that includes parents, too.”
Carr added that proper car-seat installation also is critical for maximum safety.
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