Nuna Car Seat Guidelines, ReCaro Baby Seat
Posted On July 4, 2021
A new car seat with an eye-catching design may be the best solution for baby car seats, experts say.
The car seat industry is grappling with the question of whether to add a face-shielding feature to the seats, or remove it altogether.
But the latest car seat research from the National Association of Seat Belt Association (NASBA) indicates that most baby seats that come on the market today are still a little too big.
The NASBA study showed that car seat owners are more likely to consider a face shield when deciding on a car seat, and that many are willing to pay more than a face mask for a better fit.
“There’s a lot of baby car seat salesmanship out there.
I mean, they’re all touting it, and it’s all marketing,” said Carla Wierksma, an associate professor at Emory University who has been researching car seats for nearly 20 years.
“But there’s a real lack of research to back that up.”
The NASSA study is based on data from a survey of 3,500 adult car seat purchasers from a variety of car-seat brands and ages.
The survey was conducted between October 2013 and February 2016.
The average purchase price for a carseat was $6,848.
However, the study found that many carseat owners reported spending between $3,500 and $4,000 on their car seats.
“People are getting the car seats because they feel comfortable, they like the fit, they don’t want to have to remove the face shield,” said Wierkasma.
“And there’s no research to show that’s actually the case.”
“A lot of car seats are really large,” said Jennifer Tinsley, a spokeswoman for Seat Belt Alliance, the industry trade group.
“They have a lot going on with their padding, and their padding is often very heavy.”
According to Tins, most baby carseat makers are trying to balance the needs of parents and the car seat’s safety features.
“In the beginning, it’s really about protecting the child,” Tins-Smith said.
“As the baby gets older, it starts to become a little bit more complex, and as parents get more comfortable, we’re getting more and more into the science of car seat design.”
But many parents are not willing to put up with a bigger car seat.
“If you’re a parent who’s been to the doctor, and you’re having a baby and you think your child is going to get hurt in a crash, you may want to put the baby in a car that’s a little larger,” said Tinsleys, noting that the research shows that even if the car is larger, there’s still an increase in risk.
The studies findings are consistent with previous research.
“The majority of the research that we’ve seen on car seats is saying the car should be small enough that you can put your baby in and get out of the car,” said Elizabeth Anderton, the director of the Children’s Safety Research Center at the University of Florida.
“The research that’s done is saying that the car can handle a lot more, and there’s little or no evidence to show the car actually is any safer than a smaller car.”
The research shows there is some evidence that a smaller size is more effective than a larger car seat for babies, according to a review published in the journal Pediatrics in 2017.
Andertons review looked at studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Safety Council to identify safety studies in which babies were tested in different car seats compared to a similar car seat used for older children.
“Studies show that children in a child-sized car seat have fewer head injuries and less trauma,” Anderston said.
“But they have lower average child heights, which could make a difference in how much they ride in the car.”
According the NASSA report, a child can easily jump into the backseat of a car by putting their feet flat on the ground.
That means that parents need to be careful with the positioning of their baby, and car seat manufacturers are working to reduce the risk.
However, the car industry has responded to the NASBA’s research by changing the way that seats are designed, and parents are now using different methods to ensure safety.
“Parents are now being educated that the safest way to put their child in the front seat is to put them on a carrier with a cushion,” said Anderons research coordinator, Stephanie Ruhm.
“In other words, the carrier needs to be big enough for them to slide around on it, so there’s more space.”
But parents who do not want to spend thousands on a new car are still going to buy a car and put their baby in it.
“Most parents have done the research and figured out that a child is safer in a vehicle seat with a safety harness on,” Ruhms said