Buckled-Up Better: New Study Shows More Parents are Using Child and Booster Seats Properly
OTTAWA, June 1, 2011 /CNW/ - New survey results show that the appropriate use of child and booster seats is on the rise in Canada. However, the survey also reveals that some parents and caregivers do not restrain their children at all, or are not using child seats correctly.
Today the AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence and Transport Canada jointly released the findings of the 2010 Canadian National Survey on Child Restraint Use. The survey was conducted to determine whether parents and caregivers properly restrain children in child seats and seat belts when travelling in vehicles.
"The safety and security of children are very important to our government," said the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. "Parents and caregivers must take care when installing a child seat. Appropriate use of child and booster seats, and seat belts can reduce the risk of serious injuries and death."
As part of this study, AUTO21 researchers observed a total of 7,307 vehicles with 9,772 child passengers across Canada. The researchers found that 95.8 per cent of the child passengers were restrained. Approximately 94.9 per cent of children aged 4 to 8 years and 95.6 per cent of children aged 9 to 14 years were restrained in vehicles. Overall, the survey indicates that parents generally move their children from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing seat when appropriate. The survey also reveals that 91.4 per cent of the population was using some type of child restraint in a moving vehicle. However, researchers estimate that child safety seats are used correctly only 64 per cent of the time.
"As Canada's automotive research program, AUTO21 is committed to helping Canadians protect their families while driving," said Dr. Anne Snowdon, AUTO21 Theme Coordinator for Health, Safety and Injury Prevention, and a professor at the Odette School of Business at the University of Windsor. "Vehicle accidents are a leading cause of injury and death to Canadian children and it is vital that we work with families to ensure they use the right seat at the right time to decrease these risks."
Transport Canada and AUTO21 would like to remind parents and caregivers to:
- use the appropriate car seat for their kids when travelling in a vehicle;
- learn when it is appropriate to move children from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing seat;
- be aware that it is safer to keep children in a rear-facing car seat as long as they don't exceed the height and weight recommendations for that seat, because this allows them to become strong enough to better resist injury during a collision; and
- read the owner's manual to ensure children fit properly within the recommended weight and height range for a specific car seat.
The most appropriate time to graduate children from one seat to another is when they have reached the maximum weight or height for the car seat they are currently using and have reached the minimum weight and development allowed at the next stage. Transport Canada considers weight, height and development more important than age in deciding which type of car seat to use. For more information on safe travel with children in vehicles, please visit www.tc.gc.ca/roadsafety/kids or call the Road Safety line at 1-800-333-0371.
As part of the Government of Canada's continuous improvements to child safety, new Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Seats Safety Regulations will become mandatory on January 1, 2012. The new regulations are part of a regular process of reviewing and updating child safety standards while using up-to-date technology available for testing. In addition, these regulations were rewritten to align some elements with those in the U.S., and to incorporate new and more stringent Canadian testing requirements. For more information, please visit www.tc.gc.ca/eng/roadsafety/safedrivers-childsafety-faq-1131.htm.
Transport Canada regulates the safety standards that child seats must meet to be sold in the Canadian market. Transport Canada does not regulate the actual usage of car seats.
AUTO21 supports nearly 200 researchers and 350 student researchers at 46 universities across the country. More than 120 public- and private-sector organizations partner with AUTO21. With an annual research budget of approximately $11 million, AUTO21 and its partners support projects in six key areas: health, safety and injury prevention; societal issues; materials and manufacturing; design processes; powertrains, fuels and emissions; and intelligent systems and sensors. AUTO21 is supported by the Government of Canada through a Networks of Centres of Excellence program, and its administrative centre is hosted by the University of Windsor.
The 2010 Canadian National Survey on Child Restraint Use can be found on Transport Canada's website at www.tc.gc.ca/eng/roadsafety/resources-researchstats-child-restraint-survey-2010-1207.htm or on the AUTO21 website at www.auto21.ca.
Transport Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and speeches at www.tc.gc.ca/e-news and keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.
For further information:
Vanessa Schneider Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Ottawa 613-991-0700
Media Relations Transport Canada, Ottawa 613-993-0055
Stephanie Campeau Director of Public Affairs and Communications
AUTO21 Network of Centres of Excellence
519-253-3000 ext. 4129