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Almost All Parents Are Making a Car Seat Safety Mistake with Newborns, Study Finds

You are so excited to be leaving the hospital with your newborn baby. You take care to make sure that your child is dressed in something special for the many photos that you plan on taking. You carefully place him in his infant carrier car seat. Suddenly, your family is on its own.

Don’t Make the Mistake That Many New Parents Make

Your intention is to get home safely. Your spouse, friend, or relative seems to be driving at a much slower speed than usual and taking extra time at each stop sign. However, other drivers do not know that you have a precious newborn in the car and may be distracted or otherwise dangerous.

A recent study found that as many as 93 percent of new parents make a significant error in the positioning or installation of their newborn’s car seat on the way home from the hospital. More specifically, the research presented at the October 2014 conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics found the following positioning errors:

  • 69 percent of infants had harnesses that were too loose.
  • 34 percent of infants had latches that were too low.
  • 18 percent of infants had latches that were too high.
  • 20 percent of infants had a product that was not deemed compatible with their car seat.
  • 15 percent of parents did not know how to secure their child in the car seat.

Additional installation errors were reported:

  • 43 percent of installation errors occurred when a car seat was unfastened.
  • 26 percent of installation errors occurred when the car seat was at the wrong angle.
  • 23 percent of installation errors included an unlocked safety belt.
  • 17 percent of installation errors occurred when the infant car seat was too close to the front seat of the car.

Any or all of these mistakes could result in serious harm to an infant child if a car accident occurs. Accordingly, we encourage you to make sure that your own child is properly secured before leaving the hospital parking lot and to share this blog post on Facebook so that other new parents are aware of the risk.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham
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