Today, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released a new study in its latest Status Report regarding LATCH ease-of-use. Although child restraint systems (CRS) installed with LATCH or with a vehicle seat belt are equally safe, LATCH was mandated in motor vehicles beginning with model year 2003 in order to make CRS installation easier. However, research has shown that parents can struggle to correctly install a CRS using LATCH.
car seat misuse
Historically, there has been limited research on the child passenger safety practices of mother versus father drivers.
Although a recent New York Times article on child restraint system misuse cautioned that car seat manufacturers and automakers do not collaborate on safety solutions, this partnership is thriving through CIRP@CHOP's Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies (CChIPS).
Child restraint system (CRS) misuse is a common occurrence that remains a challenge for the child passenger safety community and caregivers. Particularly alarming is that, although recent estimates of CRS misuse are as high as 72 percent, other research has found that 90 percent of caregivers are confident or very confident in their installation of a CRS. In research published in Injury Prevention this month, my CIRP@CHOP colleagues and I investigated caregivers’ confidence in CRS installations with interesting results.
On Tuesday, July 23, the world watched as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge introduced us to their first child, Prince George. For those of us in the child passenger safety community, the happy occasion was soon mixed with concern as the new parents strapped their son into a child safety seat and drove off. As many blogs, forums, and national news outlets have reported, it appeared that although Prince George was rear-facing he was not properly restrained in his child safety seat.
As one of my particular research interests revolves around the proper use of child restraint systems (CRS), I wanted to share with you what we know today about CRS misuse in the United States. Studies from Safe Kids USA and NHTSA highlight common types of CRS misuse, but we also need to understand the potential consequences of these errors.