Only 7% of Moms Use Car Seats Safely

baby in car seat

From the moment you have your baby, they become your main priority. Making sure that they're safe and protected are now your top concerns. But did you know that you're likely making a huge mistake before you even leave the hospital? According to a new study performed at the Oregon Health and Science University Hospital, 93 percent of families make at least one critical mistake when installing or positioning their infant in the car seat.

The new research, presented today at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition, observed 267 families leaving the hospital with their newborns. And with a certified child passenger safety technician, the study determined that very few parents actually get it completely right.

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Here are the most common mistakes parents committed when installing the seat:

  • Installed too loosely (43 percent)
  • Incorrect angle (34 percent)
  • Safety belt wasn't locked (23 percent)
  • Wrong spacing between the car seat and front seat (17 percent)

And once they put the babies in the seat, the mistakes continued:

  • Harness was too loose (69 percent)
  • Retainer clip was too low (34 percent)
  • Incompatible and after-market product was used with car seat (20 percent)
  • Harness was too high (18 percent)
  • Caregiver -- either parent or family member -- did not know how to adjust the harness (15 percent)

So think you know everything about car seat safety? Think again.

In this case, after inspection, the technician repaired all of the errors before the new families were on their way home. For those not lucky enough to have a special inspector, let the findings serve as a stark reminder.

More from The Stir: Your Child's Car Seat Isn't As Safe As You Think

Moms, you've kept your baby warm and safe for the past nine months. Don't let that stop as soon as they've officially arrived in the world! Making any of those huge mistakes on the way home from the hospital could prove to be disastrous. The AAP recommends taking a lesson with a certified car seat technician before taking off. In fact, families who were specially instructed by a technician were 13 times more likely to install and position the car seat and baby correctly.

Getting ready for a baby is a busy time, but you need to make time for car seat safety. Face it, how many parents have gotten it absolutely perfect? Even Prince William and Kate Middleton had their own car seat snafu. It happens to the best of us.

All we can do is be aware, prepared, and make sure to avoid, avoid, avoid the big blunders.

What mistakes have you made with the car seat?

 

Image © iStock.com/galinast

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