The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says less of half of car seats recalled last year for a safety defect were turned in to get repaired. That means some three million children were still riding in car seats that could cause serious injury to the child.
The problem may be simply because parents didn't know their child's car seat was recalled. The study found 80 percent of parents think it's important to register their child's car seat, but only 42 percent of them ever do.
"Families who do not register their car seats may never hear about a recall, causing many recalled car seats to go unrepaired and increasing the risk for children riding in vehicles," said Greg Martin, Executive Director, Public Policy, General Motors. "The research indicates how important it is to educate parents so they know to fill out the car seat registration card upon purchase to get direct notifications and recall updates from the manufacturers."
Here's what the NHTSA recommends you do to ensure your car seats are safe:
- First, register your car seat. You can do it online by going to this website. You'll need the model number and date of manufacture found on the label of your car seat.
- Second, find out if your car seat has been recalled. Simply head to the NHTSA's website and enter your seat's brand name and model.
"The single best way for parents to learn about a recall is to register their car seat with the manufacturer. Unfortunately, this important first step doesn't happen nearly enough," said Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. "During Child Passenger Safety week, we want to remind all parents to register their car seats and take action when a recall occurs. This is a cost-free remedy the manufacturer provides - and must provide - to protect your child."