Why Do Child Car Seats Look Bigger?

An alarming sign the epidemic of childhood obesity in America is shifting in a frightening direction: Manufacturers are building bigger car seats for children between ages 1-6 because standard-sized models don't fit them anymore, according to a Johns Hopkins study. The reason researchers tackled the subject in the first place: They observed kids who were very obese and had a hard time finding seats to fit them.

The problem stems from children who weighs more than 40 pounds. According to 2000 Census records, almost 300,000 American children are too big for standard car seats, including some 190,000 3-year-olds.

No surprise, some companies like Britax offer booster seats that can handle a child who weighs as much as 100 pounds that looks like a Lazy Boy recliner, according to an Oregon mother. Even the National Highway Traffic Safety is getting into the act with their proposal for new requirements to make car seats for heavier or older children.

This terrible problem has much to do with a continuing failure among parents to recognize their own children are getting heavier and sicker and to understand how much adults influence the good and bad habits of their kids.

Take a moment to review the seven risk factors for childhood obesity I posted last year, then take these necessary steps to protect their health:

Pediatrics, Vol. 117, No. 4, April 2006: 1197-1202

Yahoo News April 3, 2006

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