Obese Kids Unsafe in Cars
> 4/3/2006 2:57:13 PM

This is the kind of story that makes me sad to be an American (although soon I won't be able to say that!). Forbes is carrying a story today on the "immediate safety issue" of a paucity of car seats that are able to protect children of increasingly heavier weights. It would seem that the epidemic of childhood obesity has become so bad that there are not enough safety seats, in any age group, to protect all the overweight children. Researchers at the Children's Safety Center estimate that there are "about 283,000 children aged 1 to 6 would have difficulty finding a safe child safety seat because of their combined age and weight."

Now, I could take this opportunity to make jokes and poke fun, but I won't because I'm a bigger person then that. Okay, probably not, but there is actually a serious side to this story, and that is that there are children who are not adequately protected while riding in cars. Forbes points out that: "Motor vehicle crashes account for 23 percent of deaths from injury among infants and 30 percent among preschool-aged children. Each year in the United States, more than 1.5 million children are in motor vehicle crashes."

As the researchers point out in the story, it would be lovely to have childhood obesity just disappear. But let's all be honest, that's definitely not going to happen. So making safer seats available and more affordable (Forbes quotes prices between $240 and $270) is an important measure. Maybe though, we should stamp a big red F on the box, just to give parents an extra little incentive to teach their children healthy eating habits. Just a thought.


Of course you are right. However it is worth noting that the dimensions of the problem may be overstated because car seat choice is dependent on weight. If kids weigh more, they will not need car seats as long.Some recommendations for car seats use height instead of weight, but heavy kids also grow faster. (But note: they grow faster but stop growing sooner, meaning that obese kids are the tallest in the class until they hit 10-13, and then the thin kids pass them up.) There is a burden on those calling for the heavyweight seats to determine how many kids will really need it.
URL: www.drhebert.squarespace.com
Posted by: mchebert 4/10/2006 11:43:47 AM

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