Parents are being urged to keep their children in booster seats for longer.
Doctors and safety experts claim many kids are being put at risk, due to making the move from boosters too soon. A study conducted by the Royal Children’s Hospital showed a shocking amount of parents are ignoring safety guidelines.
According to the study, two-thirds of kids aged 7-10 are not sitting in booster seats. It also showed that 50% of children aged 7-12 are sitting in the front seat and two-thirds of toddlers are incorrectly sitting in front-facing booster seats. The study showed that most children stopped using a booster seat by the age of 7.
Out of over 1,600 parents surveyed, a shocking 3% were unaware of the safety recommendations from the The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
“This means many parents are unknowingly putting their children at risk of serious injury or death every day.” – Dr Anthea Rhodes – lead researcher in RCH study
Pediatricians at the RCH explained that, even in minor car crashes, these risky decisions could lead to injuries.
The NHMRC suggests children sit in booster seats until they are over 145cm tall – this is usually around 11-years-old.
“Research has progressed a lot in recent years and tells us clearly now that having that booster seat for longer is much safer for children.” – Dr Anthea Rhodes
The RACV has a 5-step test to determine if your child is ready to sit in a car seat without extra protection.
Not breaking the law
While most parents are not breaking the law, many are not following the safety recommendations for safe car seating.
Dr Anthea Rhodes, who led the study, was concerned by the findings.
“Parents are following the law but unfortunately the law does not reflect safest practice.”
Dr Rhodes and other experts involved in the study are pushing for the government to tighten up road safety laws for children’s car seats.
“This study certainly suggests there is a need to review current legislation when it comes to what’s appropriate for booster seats and kids in cars.”