Admit it: You’re Skipping Booster Seats in Carpools

booster seatRemember when we rolled around in the backseat of our moms’ station wagons, seatbeltless? Heck, my brother and I actually performed a magic show out the back window of my mom’s Ford LTD station wagon for the Mac truck stuck behind us in traffic. Because what you want from the driver of the 40-ton eighteen-wheeler behind you is to be distracted by the flowers-from-the-magic-wand trick.

Well, our generation of parents is much more safety conscience when it comes to transporting kids in our cars. Or are we?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reports in the February issue of Pediatrics that when it comes to carpooling, today’s parents aren’t as consistent about using booster seats as they should be.

Reports the AAP:

In fact, among parents who report using a child safety seat, only half always have their child use a booster seat when riding with friends who do not have boosters and 1 in 5 do not always ask other drivers to use a booster seat for their child.

Yep: Half of carpooling parents surveyed don’t put their 4 to 8-year-olds kid in a booster seats when riding with other parents, and 20% don’t ask other drivers to make sure they put their kids in booster seats.

Oh, you know the drill. “Oh, we’re only going to the school. It’s not that far.”

I always wondered how the other drivers you pass on the way to school know you’re driving a short distance and therefore, should not crash into you today.

Anyhow, it’s not like we’re all driving with babies on our laps. (Leave Britney Spears alone!)

Yet it appears that nearly 1 in 5 of parents surveyed would be more likely to stick an extra kid in the cargo area when there’s no room, buckle two kids into one seatbelt, let a kid ride on someone else’s lap and put the biggest kid in the front seat, right in the line of fire of the airbag.

But don’t worry. You’re only driving to school. It’s not that far.

If you’re not sure of the laws in your state regarding booster seats, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s page on car seats.

Reports NPR, 47 states require car seats for kids up to 4 feet 9 inches in height. Odds are, your state is one of them.

Read the full report from the AAP.

2 responses to “Admit it: You’re Skipping Booster Seats in Carpools”

  1. Erica Reinhart

    WOW Lisa- how scary! Definitely shined some light to the reality of that situation. GLAD she is okay!

  2. Lisa Perry

    My tiny, petite 5 1/2 year old was in her usual 5 point harness, and griped because a girl we were driving – only 4 – got to be in a booster seat because she is just a taller/heavier kid.

    LESS THEN 3 MILES from my home, we were hit. My daughter was basically slammed into a telephone pole. She had a fractured skull and multiple lacerations on her scalp and face. (The other 3 kids escaped with only scrapes and bruises. I was pretty beat up myself.)

    At the hospital, once we knew she was going to be OK, I asked what would have happened had she been in the booster seat. The doctor’s response?

    “You mean if she would have even made it?”

    Parents PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE know what is the best seat type for your child. And please remember because of the different makes of cars, your child may need a booster in some vehicles, but not others. Do NOT mess with this. Yes I know I know, we rarely wore seatbelts. But if saves you from standing over your child wondering if they were alive, it will be worth it.

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