Most of us would agree that they could be. The article by Dr. Shital Parikh and Lindsay Wilson, BA that appeared in PEDIATRICS, August 2010, vol. 126, p. 352 clearly demonstrates not only such a practice is dangerous and what practices must be avoided.
It shows that 43,562 car seat injuries occurred from 2003-2007 under one year of age.
The most common mechanisms of injury:
1) infants falling out of the car seat
2) car seats falling from elevated surfaces
3) car seats overturning when placed on a soft surface.
There is no question that car seats have saved thousands of infants from auto accident injuries. But parents must realize the unsecured car seat on a counter or chair is not a safe use for this appliance.
Observing parents in restaurants is a good place to see this kind of unsafe use. The parent places the unsecured seat on the café’s high chair; thus, putting their offspring in harm’s way. Lastly, the unsecured placement on a market cart is equally if not more dangerous.
The car seat was designed for a specific use. When we deviate without thought we risk injury to our infant.
Lara B. McKenzie, Ph.D., MA, et al, in their article that appeared in PEDIATRICS, September 2010, vol. 126, p. 509 presents some interesting statistics.
There were an estimated 267,269 children under the age of five years that presented to United States Emergency Department from 1990-2006.
It is reassuring to see that the number of cases decreased by 46% comparing 1990 to 2006. Yet, that means approximately 11,964 presented to our emergency departments in 2006. That is still too many. As parents we can do better.
The most common container was the spray bottle throughout the years. We cannot let our guard down. Keep these products in areas where your children cannot reach. Don’t put cleaning products in bottles or containers usually used for food or drink.
This article is a good review and I would recommend all informed parents to read it. The time to think about this is not when your child is in an ICU but before anything happens.