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AAA: Majority Of Parents Misuse Child Safety Seats

Most parents think they are using their child’s safety seat correctly, but statistics reveal that the majority are not.

According to Michelle Donati, spokeswoman for AAA in Arizona, there are numerous mistakes made by parents. One of those is turning a child to a forward-facing position too soon.

“So if you think about a child in the event of a crash, when they’re rear-facing, that seat is going to absorb the majority of that crash force. When you turn them forward-facing, the child’s body is going to absorb more of those crash forces, so they could be subject to greater injuries," Donati said.

She said parents should keep their children in a rear-facing position until at least age 2.

Another mistake that is very common is parents buying a used car seat. “This is something that we never recommend,” said Donati, “because we never want a child to ride in a car seat that you are not 100 percent sure of that car seat’s history.”   

Donati said it is also important to remember that all car seats come with an expiration date and parents should check that with the manufacturer.

Child seat safety does not end after the toddler years. Arizona law requires children who are age 5 to 8 and 57 inches or less in height to use a booster seat.

For more information on child passenger safety, you can check out AAA’s recommendations or locate a certified car seat technician in your area.

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Tom Maxedon was the host of KJZZ’s Weekend Edition from 2017 to 2024.