To Your Health
February, 2012 (Vol. 06, Issue 02)
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Give Your Child a Safety Boost

You always use a booster seat when your child's in your car, right? Maybe not. OK, what about when they're in someone else's vehicle? According to a recent study published in Pediatrics, the research journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, many parents of young children don't ensure their child is appropriately protected when they're not in the family car – and in fact, not enough use boosters even when they and their child are in their own car.

According to the study, which surveyed 681 U.S. parents of 4- to 8-year-old children, only about 75 percent of parents said they used a safety seat for their own child in their own car. What's worse, 21 percent of parents who said they used a seat in their own car said they did not always ask another driver to put their child in a car seat when carpooling. In fact, only around half said they would make sure their child was in a booster seat when driving with friends whose own children weren't using the seats.

It only takes one accident for you to realize the real-world importance of car seat / booster seat protection; unfortunately, by then it can be too late. Even low-velocity impacts can put your child at risk if they are wearing a seat belt that doesn't fit them properly because they aren't sitting in a booster seat. (Just ask your chiropractor about the potential damage even a relatively minor collision can do to a young child's spine, neck and other delicate structures.)

To ensure your child's safety, review the child safety guidelines on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Web site at and always follow them, whether your child is in the car with you or someone else. It's that important.