Remember 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.
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.