Monday, August 18, 2008

Steven Levitt: Are children's car seats necessary?

Steven Levitt shares data that shows car seats are no more effective than seatbelts in protecting kids, 2 years and up from dying in cars. However, he does mention at the end of his talk that there is some medical research, that used very a very different methodology from him, that showed that car seats were dramatically more effective than seatbelts in protecting children.

I hope that he manages to resolve this conflict in the next half a year because that's when Ben and Shira will legally be allowed to go without car seats/boosters in VA. I've told the kids that they are in boosters till they are 4ft9 (I think have 4-5 inches of growing still to do). I'd dearly like to feel confident enough to let them out of boosters come their 8th birthday as the seats they use give me horrid blind spots in my van.

Goodness, the kids will think the aliens have taken me over if they get out of boosters on their 8th birthday. They only got out of 5 point restraints this year and that was only because the restraint was causing Ben to need to urinate too frequently and that was driving me crazy on long road trips. I sometimes wonder if we hold the record - 7 year olds in 5 point restraints. LOL

1 comment:

Sally said...

I'd love to see this guy's methodology. I've read some information similar to what you're covering here, but I'd go with the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics - they produce peer-reviewed studies and their methodology is highly robust and thoroughly tested. And when it comes to the safety of our kids, do we want to take the risk?

And good on you for keeping your kids in the 5-point harness! We always recommend getting the harness with the highest weight limit possible!