A soon-to-be-released study suggests a surprising number of car seats don’t fit into vehicles properly, requiring many parents to resort to putting rolled up towels, blankets or pool noodles under the car seats to make them level.
Using dimensions from 59 car seat models and 61 vehicles, researchers at The Ohio State University College of Medicine analyzed nearly 3,600 potential combinations. “We found that about 42 percent of the time there were compatibility issues,” said Julie Bing, the research engineer who led the study. “The problem is the base of several rear-facing car seats are designed for different seat pan angles than most vehicles provide,” she said. An improper fit can cause children to ride in unsuitable positions and may raise the risk of injury.
Researchers also found headrests built into vehicle seats can interfere with forward-facing car seats. “If the headrest juts out too far, it doesn’t allow the back of the car seat to sit flush against the seat, especially in vehicles where the headrests cannot be adjusted or removed,” said Bing.
The study is to be published in October in the journal Traffic Injury Prevention. To learn more about the study, click on the video box to the left. To read the full press release, “click to read more” below.