Latinos More Concerned About Proper Child Safety Seat Installation than the General Population, but Are Less Aware of Available Inspection Services

Latinos More Concerned About Proper Child Safety Seat Installation than the General Population, but Are Less Aware of Available Inspection Services

DaimlerChrysler marks Baby Safety Month with new national survey and education effort
SEATCHECK offers free child safety seat inspection locator service 1-866-Seat-Check or http://www.seatcheck.org

Auburn Hills, Mich., Sep 20, 2005 –
A new national survey conducted by DaimlerChrysler finds that Latino parents and caregivers are more concerned about proper child safety seat installation than the general population, but are also less aware of available child safety seat inspection services.

The findings, released today, underscore the need for increased education efforts about child passenger safety for the Latino community — and DaimlerChrysler and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are responding through SEATCHECK, a free car seat inspection locator service.

Seven out of ten (70 percent) Latino drivers of children age eight or under report being concerned about whether or not they have installed their child safety seat properly, compared to a national average of just four out of ten (40 percent). Nearly half (47 percent) of Latinos report being “very concerned,” which is significantly higher than the national average of only 16 percent.

However, when asked if they were aware of the availability of child safety seat inspection services, just 56 percent of Latinos reported they were aware of the services, compared to the national average of 74 percent.

“Like all parents, Latino parents love their kids and are very concerned about safety. Even the most conscientious parents may not realize that eight out of ten kids riding in child safety seats are improperly restrained, putting them at risk of serious injury or death in a crash,” said Luis Morais, Senior Manager of Safety Programs, Chrysler Group. “We want all families to know that there are free resources to help them safely install and use child safety seats correctly.”

SEATCHECK is available through a Web site (www.seatcheck.org) and a toll-free hotline (1-866-SEAT-CHECK), and provides listings to over 4,000 inspection locations. The Web site and toll-free telephone assistance are available in both Spanish and English.

Additional findings from the survey:

Overall, there is a lack of awareness of the need for child safety seats among both the general population and Latinos. Two-thirds of all respondents (68 percent) believe it is safe for children age eight or under to no longer be secured in a child safety seat or booster seat and instead use a seat belt. Booster seats are vital to help ensure children fit safely in their car’s seat belt, and using a booster is 60 percent safer for kids than being restrained by a seat belt alone.
If parents know their state’s child safety restraint law, they are more likely to properly secure their kids. More than seven out of ten (73 percent) Latino drivers say they would be more likely to properly secure their children after hearing their state law. This is significantly higher than the national average of 48 percent.
“This research provides new insight into Latino’s attitudes and awareness on child passenger safety issues,” said Morais. “While the findings show that more education is needed, they also show that Latinos are receptive to the messages, which means our public awareness efforts to promote SEATCHECK can be effective in helping keep kids safe in vehicles. We will use these new findings as we continue to engage the Latino community as part of our ongoing efforts to encourage proper use of child safety seats.”

Safety Tips
Safety experts like NHTSA and the National Safety Council (NSC) recommend the following tips for proper child safety seat use:

Infants up to 1 year or 20-22 pounds should be in an infant only or rear-facing convertible seat in the back seat. If less than a year old and more than 20-22 pounds, be sure they ride in a seat approved for heavier babies and continue to ride rear-facing until at least 1 year old in the back seat
Toddlers over 1 year and 20-40 pounds should be in a convertible and forward-facing seat in the back seat
Young children over 40 pounds, between the ages of 4 and 8, unless taller than 4’9″ should ride in booster seats in the back seat
After graduating from a booster seat, children age 12 and under should always use seat belts and ride in the back seat
About the Research
Public Opinion Strategies conducted two national telephone surveys on behalf of DaimlerChrysler, Aug. 17-20, 2005 (one national survey of 700 drivers of children age 12 or under, one national survey of 400 Latino drivers of children age 12 or under). The margin of error on a sample of 700 is +3.7 percent and the margin of error on a sample of 400 is +4.9 percent.

About SEATCHECK
DaimlerChrysler created the SEATCHECK initiative in 2002 along with NHTSA, the National Safety Council, Graco Children’s Products Inc., and Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us. In addition to the free inspection locator service, the Web site also offers parents useful information on keeping kids safe in motor vehicles.

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