Child Safety Seats & Vehicles - Incompatible? - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Child Safety Seats & Vehicles - Incompatible?

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WMDT 47 NEWS - From cribs to strollers, it's important to stay on top of the latest models and recalls. But some shocking statistics show even if you buy the most up to date car seat model, many are installed improperly.

Mom, Kelly Zimmerman, bought the top of the line child safety seat for her son, "Expense wasn't as much of a concern. It was having the safest seat for my child."

But Zimmerman admits she uses a towel to make sure that her son's car seat fits correctly. "Those really are the solutions presented," Zimmerman explains disapprovingly, "a towel or a pool noodle, or you know, things like that, from researching it online or the resources that come with the seat."

And she is not alone. The latest research shows 73 to 90-percent of all child safety seats are installed improperly. And it's not always the parents fault.

A team of researchers at Ohio State University recently collected dimensions on dozens of vehicles and car seats and found that 44-percent of the time car seats and the vehicles are incompatible. "A great fit would be with nothing," Dr. John Bolte, with the Ohio State research team, says of using towels and pool noodles to adjust fit, "but obviously with the situation with the cars, you can have some of those things and still do well in a safety situation. So it's not that it's unsafe, it's just not as safe as the perfect fit would be."

Apparently, experts are working with car makers and car seat companies to encourage more compatibility.

But in the meantime, if you're shopping for a car seat, Dr. Bolte says you should first take measurements of your car. Pay attention to the angle of the seat, the width, and even things like built-in headrests. And then take your measuring tape with you to the store. Measure the car seat on the shelf, or get it out of the box. A lot of stores will allow you to do that and see how it fits in your car.

Inside Pregnancy

Join WMDT's Emily Lampa as she explores the world of pregnancy. You can read about the do's and don't's plus tips from experts on safety for expecting mothers.

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