LANCASTER, Pa., Sept. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In conjunction with Baby Safety Month, Chicco USA is releasing the results of a new national survey that exposes common missteps parents make when it comes to car seat safety. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children between one and 13 years old. To help keep children safe, Chicco, a leader in juvenile products and car seat safety, is shining a spotlight on this issue and urging parents to follow important car seat safety guidelines.
According to the 2013 Chicco Baby Safety Month Survey, the vast majority of parents recognize that the rear-facing position for children riding in a car seat is the safest. In fact, nearly90 percent of parents surveyed said they believe their child should remain rear-facing as long as possible. However, 58 percent underestimate the minimum age at which it is safe to turn their child's car seat to forward-facing.
The survey also revealed the alarming statistic that less than one third(31 percent) of parents are following manufacturers safety guidelines as to when to turn their child's car seat from rear- to forward-facing. Instead, nearly half of parents (49 percent) choose to turn their child's car seat based on comfort, rather than safety. Top reasons parents transition their child's car seat from rear- to forward-facing include: their child's feet were touching the vehicle seat (31 percent), followed by their child being too uncomfortable (10 percent) or fussy (8 percent) when rear-facing.
"Children should remain rear-facing as long as possible, according to manufacturers' guidelines," said Julie Prom, child passenger safety advocate for Chicco. "This is the safest way to travel in a motor vehicle. It is okay for the child's feet to touch the vehicle seatback or even be crossed in front of the child. Children are comfortable in many positions, unlike us less flexible adults. It is when a child is turned forward-facing that they are at higher risk for leg injuries, as well as head and neck injuries."
The survey also revealed that many parents report that installing a convertible car seat was difficult (19 percent) and overwhelming (40 percent), yet only 15 percent sought out professional help to install it. In most cases, certified technicians will inspect child car seats free of charge and show how to correctly install and use it. Parents can find a car seat inspection station by visiting the NHTSA website.
"Safety and ease of installation are top priorities for our car seats," said William Hasse, vice president of marketing for Chicco. "We not only ensure that our car seats meet the highest safety standards, but that they are easy to use and install. That's why the KeyFit and KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seats and the NextFit Convertible Car Seat have bubble level indicators, one-pull LATCH tightening systems, and easy-to-read instructions directly on the seats. We want to make sure that our infant and convertible car seats are installed simply, accurately and securely – every time."
ABOUT CHICCO Chicco USA is the American subsidiary of Chicco, the leading European baby brand with global headquarters in Como, Italy. Chicco is the only multi-specialist baby brand in the world, providing babies from birth to 36 months with all the products they need to grow, covering the toys, fashion, gear, nursing, and baby care categories. Founded in 1958, Chicco is part of the Artsana SpA group, one of Italy's leading family-owned corporations with more than 7000 employees and 25 branches throughout the world. For more information, please visit ChiccoUSA.com.
SURVEY METHODOLOGY This survey was conducted online within the United States by Chicco from September 9-11, 2013 among 533 parents who currently have a child using a convertible car seat.