Parental education about the use of age-appropriate child restraints is an essential aspect of all routine well-child examinations. Despite this guidance, automobile accidents remain the leading cause of death in children 8 years of age and younger. The evolution of the car seat began in the 19th century and its design continues to change to incorporate further safety advancements. Each of the 50 states has laws regarding child restraints; however, most do not correspond with those set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. As a child advances from a rear-facing car seat to a booster seat, it is crucial to know the height, weight, and age milestones necessary to make such changes. Parents or guardians need to understand that every car seat has a manufacturing date and that most expire within 5 years of that date. Lack of physical strength by caretakers may contribute to improper installation of child restraints. Many valuable resources exist for both physicians and parents/guardians regarding child restraint safety, reliability, and recalls. Family physicians play a pivotal role in educating parents about up-to-date car restraint recommendations during routine health maintenance examinations for pediatric patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Family Practice