Evenflo Child Booster Seats May Not Protect Children From Car Accident Injuries
According to a new report, the company is making gains on child safety with a child seat designed to prevent injuries from car accidents
Your child’s car seat is actually capable of in the event of an injury car accident? According to a current report from ProPublicaThe Evenflo “Big Kid” Booster Seats can have a serious one Marketing mistake Doing so could result in child injury and death in a motor vehicle collision. As the report explains, “an internal video of side impact tests shows that children could be injured or killed in Evenflo’s ‘Big Kid’ booster seats,” but Evenflo “continued to market them as side impact tests”. And one of the most disturbing pieces of information is that the company may have known the problem for nearly a decade.
As the report explains, an Evenflo safety engineer recommended that the company “stop selling child seats for children under 40 pounds,” suggesting the seats may not prevent injury as marketing suggested. The engineer Eric Dahle made this recommendation back in February 2012. At this point, he emailed senior executives that children less than 40 pounds would be safer in car seats that use straps to hold their tiny bodies in place. Citing existing research, Dahle also argued that these changes “were in line with Canadian regulations and would be more in line with the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.”
But Evenflo – one of the largest manufacturers of child seats – ignored Dahle’s recommendation. Instead, internal company records show that a marketing director was responsible for vetoing the engineer’s recommendation, and even wrote in an email, “Why are we talking about it at all?” That marketing manager also insisted, “I have repeatedly Checked 40 pounds for the US and won’t approve it. ” Evenflo resold the Big Kid car seat and marketed it for children who weighed less than 40 pounds. In addition, Evenflo marketed the booster seat as a side impact test, although “its own tests showed that a child sitting in its booster seat could be at great risk in such an accident”.
To be clear, there are two main problems with marketing the Big Kid car seat. First, the company marketed the seat for children weighing less than 40 pounds when research found the seat was not safe for children that weight. Second, the company marketed the booster seat as a side impact test, although crash tests by Evenflo indicated that the booster seat was in fact unsafe for a side impact collision. Side impact crashes cause about 15% of child deaths in car crashes. So, if you currently own a Big Kid Evenflo booster, only use it if your child meets the correct weight and height requirements.
Safety Tips: Child Seats and Injury Prevention
The following information is from HealthyChildren.org and is designed to help parents and guardians choose the right safety seat for a passenger:
- Infants and young children should ride in rear-facing seats. Rear-facing car seats come in three variants (rear-facing only, convertible and 3-in-1);
- Rear-facing seats only should be used for infants weighing up to 22 or 35 pounds, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Convertible seats should be used rear facing until the child has reached the weight and age requirements for facing forward.
- Toddlers and preschoolers weighing between 40 and 90 pounds should sit in front-facing car seats.
- School-age children should ride a booster seat after exceeding the weight limits of a forward facing car seat but are still below 4 feet 9 inches. and
- Booster seats are available in two versions: with a high backrest and without a backrest.
If your child has suffered injuries while using an Evenflo car seat, discuss your options with a Product liability attorney.