Do today's car seats adequately protect overweight or obese children?
This question was the subject of a recent study at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Center for Injury Research and Prevention. Researchers studied 1,000 1- to 8-year-old children involved in crashes and found no evidence of increased injury risk for children, despite their weight at the time of the crash. All of the children involved in the study were properly restrained in the correct child safety seat or booster seat for their height and weight. Good news for kids of all shapes and sizes!
"This research should reassure parents that their only concern when it comes to car seat safety should be to follow the most recent guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics," said lead author Mark Zonfrillo, MD, MSCE, an attending emergency physician at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
The important thing to remember is that there is no one size fits all when it comes to car seats. Each model has specific recommendations for the height and weight for the child it's intended to protect. If your child doesn't fit within those guidelines, buy a bigger seat. Then make sure she is properly strapped in, and you can feel confident that she will be protected. Talk to your doctor if you have specific concerns about the size and style of car seat that would work best for your child.
The results of this study are published online in the December issue of the journal Pediatrics.