Child Safety Seats: Why So Difficult to Install?

4:51 PM, May 15, 2013   |    comments
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Guilford County, N.C. - Three out of four car seats are not used or installed properly in the USA.

On Wednesday, WFMY News 2 visited the Greensboro Children's Museum to do a few surprise car seat inspections. We picked three random cars. All three had something wrong with a child safety seat. Some parents did not have belts tightened enough, others were not attached properly and one had the safety seat anchors locked in upside down. Our expert fixed all those problems on the spot.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found only 20 percent of top-selling new cars had designs that made it easy to install a car seat. The report blames car manufacturers. One year has passed and the Insurance Institute told WFMY News 2 it hasn't seen any major changes. So, why are car seats still so difficult to install?

"They are challenged by having to meet not only today's needs, but the needs of 20 years ago because they have to have the same car seats fit those vehicles on the road," Safe Kids Guilford spokeswoman Leigha Shepler said.

Britax is a popular car seat company that manufacturers car seats just outside of Charlotte. Britax Child Passenger Safety Advocate Sarah Tilton said, "It can be very challenging. There's no doubt about it. But, we just need to take a few minutes and read manuals. I know sometimes we want to click and go. Unfortunately, they're not always that easy."

Claudine Woodard, of High Point, admits she didn't always take the time to buckle up her kids properly. In July 2012, she lost control of her car. It flipped over and caught on fire with all three of her children inside.

Luckily, at the time of the crash, all of her children were restrained and in their safety seats. Everyone walked away unharmed.

"It happened so fast. You don't have time to react. Therefore, I learned my lesson that it's best to have them strapped in at all times," Woodard said.

Now, Woodard is so passionate about safety, she speaks to parent groups about it.

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