STATES CHRONICLE – We generally know what we’re doing, right? I mean, when we engage in a situation, we at least look it up beforehand, so we don’t go in completely clueless. According to a new study, as many as 95% of Parents Don’t Know How To Use A Child Safety Seat.
Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, director of Doernbecher Children’s Hospital’s Tom Sargant Safety Center, led a research on a sample of 291 random mothers and babies.
Attempting to find out if new parents are really ready to take their babies home from the hospital, the doctor was appalled to see that almost none of the parents knew how to install the car seats.
Out of the 291 parents selected by the Oregon Health and Science University, 95% made at least one mistake in their installation of the car seat and the proper positioning of the infant in it, while 91% made a grave error that could lead to the injury and/or death of the baby; half of the families made over five potentially deadly mistakes.
The doctor decided to perform the study after spending some time in a Navajo reservation in New Mexico as a doctor, and being surprised at the high frequency of infant injuries and death resulting from poor handling of a child safety seat.
He does sympathize with the lack of time fresh parents usually encounter, but he states that there is really no excuse not to learn something that could save your child’s life.
Dr. Hoffman is going to try and pressure hospitals into offering child safety seat instructions to parents preparing to take their infants home, but he also claims that something should be done by child safety seat manufacturers, since once you find out that 95% of people buying your product don’t know how to use it, you should do something about it.
According to the CDC, in 2013, 136 infants died in car crashes, and over 8,000 ended up in emergency rooms following a car accident.
The statistics become even more troubling once you find out that babies in properly installed car seats are 71% less likely to die and 61% less likely to get injured in a car collision, while children aged 1 to 4 are 54% less likely to die and 47% less likely to get injured.
Now that he knows the statistics, Dr. Benjamin Hoffman feels responsible to spread the word, and to do something about the hundreds of children lives that can be saved annually, but without the support of hospitals and child safety seat manufacturers, he doesn’t really know where to go from here, except to spread public awareness.
Image source: Wikimedia