October 20, 2009

Car Seats Hazardous Outside Of Vehicles

Car seats used to keep kids safe inside the car can pose potential hazards for children outside of the car, according to new research.

Speaking during a meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Shital Parikh of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, said car seats placed outside of cars have accounted for more than 8,700 injuries each year.

Additionally, car seats have saved the lives of almost 9,000 children over the past three decades, said Parikh.

Parikh found that most injuries involving car seats occurred when parents had placed the seats on tables, beds, or countertops.

"Many families learn the importance of strapping an infant car seat into a vehicle, but they do not learn about the dangers of using infant car seats as carriers or placing them on countertops or beds," said Parikh.

Most reported injuries were to the head, and about half of them took place at home.

"When parents or caregivers place the infant car seat on top of a table or elevated surface, the infant can wiggle and end up toppling off out of the seat onto the floor, which can lead to severe injuries."

"Another accident that can happen is the turning over of the car seat on to a soft surface, which can lead to suffocation."


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