A new University of Michigan study finds most parents are hesitant to insist their young children use booster seats when they carpool.
Public service announcements remind us that children between 4 and 8 years old, under 4 feet 9 inches tall, must be in a booster seat when riding in a car. But that message is not convincing most parents to insist on a booster seat when their kids carpool with other children.
“More than 60 percent of parents of 4 to 8 year olds are carpooling," says Michelle Macy, M.D., M.S., a clinical lecturer of emergency medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and a pediatrician at U-M C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
"Of the parents who say their child usually uses a booster seat," Macy says, "only half are doing so when their children are rising with friends who don’t have a booster seat. And, one in five aren’t asking other drivers to use a booster seat for their child.”
Macy says peer pressure and convenience are the main excuses.
Macy says tougher laws requiring booster seats are needed to encourage child safety.
The U of M study appears in the journal Pediatrics.