SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A new survey shows a high number of parents don't buckle up their children before a vehicle trip. The survey finds one in four parents admits he or she has driven without buckling up children in the vehicle.
Car crashes are a leading cause of death to children. Experts say most of those lives could have been saved by car seats.
Even for bicycle rides, Caroline Bartcher makes sure her 4-year-old daughter is safe.
“We have it down. It's important for us,” said Bartcher. “They've always been buckled up. They know we put our car seats on first.”
A new study finds a growing number of parents lack that same vigilance.
“It was disappointing to hear that many parents think that it's okay, especially for those short trips,” said Daphne Greenlee, Safe Kids coordinator for the Mercy Injury Prevention Center.
The survey done by Safe Kids Worldwide and General Motors found a declining number of parents take the time to buckle up properly.
“When we see so many accidents occur within 10 minutes of a family's house, it's really important that the car seat or seat belt is used for every trip,” said Greenlee. “Even though it's a hassle to get the kids in and out of the car seats, nothing is more important than what they are putting in.”
The seats can be tricky with several steps.
“It's really important to follow all of these manufacturers’ recommendations,” said Greenlee. “It should move no more than an inch from side to side.”
You should read the labels and know where to put latches.
The study found affluent, educated and young parents are the worst offenders. Men are also more willing than women to bend the rules.
“It was a little concerning there are different groups of families that are maybe not taking the time they need,” said Greenlee.
“They are so tiny. They're flying around that car more than an adult would,” said Bartcher. “For me, it's my choice if I don't buckle up. But, for them, it's my responsibility to take care of them for a really long time.”
If you'd like your child's car seat checked, you can do that this Saturday in Nixa. Experts will be at the TelComm Credit Union next to the Price Cutter grocery store from 9 to noon. They ask, if you can, for you to bring your child with you.
Edited news release with more information about the study and the car seat check in Nixa:
As part of National Child Passenger Safety Week (September 15-21), Safe Kids Worldwide released “Buckle Up: Every Ride, Every Time,” a new study that finds an alarming percentage of parents are not always taking the time to ensure their children are safely secured in vehicles.
The report, funded as part of a $2 million grant from the General Motors Foundation, is based on a national online survey of 1,002 parents and caregivers of children ages 10 and under. It reveals that one in four parents admit to having driven without their child buckled up in a car seat or booster seat. In fact, more affluent parents, parents with higher levels of education, and young parents are more likely to make exceptions when it comes to buckling up their kids on every ride. Men were also more willing than women to bend the rules.
“Although we are seeing a decline in the number of deaths due to motor vehicle crashes, we're also seeing a scary trend of parents allowing children to ride unrestrained for various reasons,” said Daphne Greenlee, coordinator for Safe Kids Springfield and trauma outreach coordinator at Mercy Hospital Springfield. “The majority of crashes occur within a short distance from home, so it is extremely important that parents remain vigilant about using a car seat or seat belt for every ride, every time. ”