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Parents should focus on car seat installation, not price for child safety: BCAA

Last Updated May 2, 2018 at 7:44 pm PDT

a safe minivan / with the child in the car seat / and mom opens door

A new BCAA survey has found many parents think more expensive car seats make child car travel safer

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Don’t feel the need to overspend on car seats — that’s the message from BCAA following a new survey.

The findings revealed many new parents see a correlation between keeping their children safe and the amount of money they spend on car seats.

One in four people believe more expensive, top-of-the-line car seats are safer. They see $200 as the starting point of a safer car seat.

“We’ve been seeing this more and more, parents who think expensive child car seats and buying more gadgets will keep their child safer while travelling in a car,” Shawn Pettipas, director of community engagement, who is a child passenger safety educator and oversees community car seat programs for BCAA. “Sure, it’s nice having the latest trend in car seats, along with add-ons, but spending big dollars on an expensive child seat and all the extras shouldn’t be the focus.”

He says it’s the installation of the seat that really counts, and adds parents should focus on being being well-educated on child passenger safety.

“We know that parents’ hearts are in the right place and they’re only trying to do what they think is right,” Pettipas explains. “But parents may be focusing on the wrong things and adding unnecessary pressure on themselves and their budgets.”

Just more than half of those surveyed say they’re conscious about how much they spend on a car seat, and admit they wouldn’t want people to think they didn’t put safety first.

The survey reveals 30 per cent of parents feel pressured by their peers or themselves to have the best car seats.

These car seat troubles aren’t anything new. In a previous survey, the BCAA found more than two-thirds of parents install car seats themselves and 51 per cent don’t check to see if they’re installed properly.

Transport Canada says a properly installed child car seat reduces the risk of fatality by 71 per cent and the risk of serious injury by 67 per cent.