Study Reveals Child Car Seats Not Properly Aligned
A recent study conducted by Ohio State University, Wexner Medical Center, reveals that manufacturers of child car seats may be following design guidelines not aligned with auto manufacturers.
The researchers analysed data collected from over 3,600 combinations of car seats and 34 physical installations. The results show that around 4 out of 10 car seats do not align properly, making the installation more difficult for parents and possibly proving hazardous on the road.
According to Julie Bing, lead author of the study and engineer at Ohio State College of Medicine’s Injury Biomechanics Research Center, the research does not in any way imply that child car seats are unsafe. The manufacturers no doubt follow federal regulations. The problem lies in the alignment between the base angle of the car seat and the angle of the child car seat set by the maker.
Being said that the main objective of the study was to encourage more communication between manufacturers so that standards can be aligned to optimize safety. She recommends that parents should base the purchase of the child car seat not only on comfort and ease of installation as specified by the car seat manufacturer, but also take into consideration the measurements and specifications of the vehicle. This will help to ensure a better fit for the car seat and avoid make-shift arrangements like adding extra stuffing behind or under the seat to make it fit better.
The study, which will be officially published next quarter, was funded by The National Science Foundation Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies (CChIPS). A collaborative effort of researchers from OSU, CChIPS is focused on research for Child Injury Prevention.