Retailers to Promote Car/​Booster Seats for Different Ages

BY Rachel Cagle
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"Parents should not rush to transition their growing children to the next stage of child car seat — such as moving from a harnessed seat to a booster — because each change could mean a step down in safety, Consumer Reports’ child safety experts say."

"The best practice for when to safely transition your child, such as at a certain weight or height threshold, might not always match what is permitted on the manufacturer label, experts found from CR’s car seat testing."

"Findings published by ProPublica, a nonprofit news organization, highlighted the industry practice of sometimes labeling booster seats as appropriate for children starting at 30 pounds, despite research and recommendations from medical groups, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), that children are safer when they remain seated in a harnessed forward-​facing seat. The ProPublica investigation also highlights that there is currently no federal standard for the side-​impact performance of car seats, despite language on the seats or their packaging claiming side-​impact testing."

"Car seats have proved to be effective at reducing the potential for injury and death for children in automotive crashes. In a crash, the risk of injury is reduced by 71 to 82% with car seat use and by 45% with booster use (children four to eight years old) compared with using the vehicle seat belt alone. The protection offered by any car seat is better than not using one."

"Still, parents and caregivers should keep in mind that the minimum height, weight, and even age guidelines on the labels and instructions that come with a car seat might not always be the best in terms of a child’s overall safety. Children are better restrained, and consequently safer, when secured by a five-​point harness in a forward-​facing car seat than when they’re using a seat belt in a booster seat. Parents should follow best practice recommendations while staying within the car seat’s height and weight limits."

"Consumer Reports' Recommended Car Seat Use for Children Under the Age of 12:

  • Rear-​Facing Infant: Age 0 (begin transitioning to next seat at age 1)
  • Convertible Rear-​Facing: Age 1 (begin transitioning to next seat at ages 2 or 3)
  • Convertible Forward-​Facing: Ages 2 — 5 (begin transitioning to next seat at ages 6 — 9)
  • Belt-​Positioning Booster: Ages 6 — 9 (begin transitioning to seat belts at ages 10 — 11)"

"Even though you might think your child seems old enough or weighs enough to transition to the next seat, there are many things to consider."

'Age is a significant factor in determining the skeletal strength of your child’s bones to withstand crash forces,' says Emily Thomas, Ph.D., automotive safety engineer at Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center. 'Allowing your child to stay harnessed up to the height or weight limit of their forward-​facing harnessed car seat can help ensure that their body is strong enough to transition to a booster.'”"Bottom line: Don’t rush to advance your child to the next type of seat."

"If you are using any booster seat, and your child weighs less than 40 pounds and is younger than four years old, CR recommends that you return your child to a forward-​facing harness seat. If your child weighs more than 40 pounds, is at least four years old and already using a booster seat, they can continue to use it. But be sure that the seat belt fits your child properly in their booster seat and that your child can stay that way for an entire car ride. If they haven’t yet moved to a booster seat, keep them in a forward-​facing harness up to the car seat’s height or weight limit."

As you may have expected, parents spend a lot of time watching TV with their kids. 54.6% of Parents of Preschoolers watch a minimum of three hours of TV every day, according to AudienceSCAN.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. In addition, AdMall contains industry profiles on children and infant supply retailers and department stores, as well as lead lists at the local level. Media companies, sales reps and agencies can access this data with a subscription to AdMall from SalesFuel.