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Car Seat Snafus: Why Parents are Overwhelmed With How to Keep Kids Safe on the Road

You slather them with sunscreen, insist they hold your hand walking across the street and make sure they at least try the greens on their plate. But when it comes to car seat know-how, many parents are left scratching their heads.

That’s according to a new survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Volvo Car USA. Researchers found American drivers are downright confused and overwhelmed when doing their homework on the best products to keep kids safe: According to the survey, a whopping 97 percent of new parents are having trouble sifting through the piles of safety products available today.

Car Seat Conundrum

The item most befuddling to new parents? The car seat. Data collectors found 71 percent of moms and dads are completely overwhelmed by the seemingly endless selection of models, and 58 percent are agitated by researching seat information. And once they make the decision (Graco? Britax? Chicco?), the frustration doesn’t end. The poll also revealed that 32 percent have buyer’s remorse, wishing they had selected a different make or model. For new parents, that number jumps to 41 percent and 47 percent for millennial parents.

This kind of car seat quandary isn’t just about one concern, either. Thirty-six percent of parents surveyed are perplexed with finding the safest seat, 20 percent say installing the seat is another headache and staying on top of possible recalls is a concern for 19 percent of respondents.

Buying a car seat is one thing. Installing it is another. Over half of those surveyed say they would outsource the installation of the seats — paying a professional to do it for them. I have to say I would have gladly forked over the money for this kind of service when I was a new mom. Gladly. Seems millennial moms and dads agree with me — a hefty 65 percent would pay for that service, too.

Safety Steps

Once the seat is in, parents may think the process of securing their kiddos is finished. Hardly. Additional steps are needed to ensure your little ones stay safe. Alarmingly, only 35 percent of parents check the car seat expiration date, 50 percent make sure their child hasn’t outgrown the seat and a mere 35 percent remove the kid’s coat before buckling them in.

These numbers point to the fact that parents need a helping hand, stat: "Nothing is more important to parents than their children’s safety and despite the overwhelming options available, it’s clear they are looking for more guidance and direction to ensure they are making the right choices," said Jim Nichols, Product, Technology & Brand Communications Senior Manager for Volvo Car USA.

Fortunately, the folks at Volvo are offering some relief. September 29 is National Seat Check Saturday, and Volvo retailers across the United States will have certified CPS technicians on hand to help parents properly install or check an already installed seats to make sure it is safely installed in your car. This offer extends to drivers of all makes and models — not just Volvo owners. Plus, it’s free. Check out the list of retailers at Volvo Cars.

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