About 70 percent of local families with children aged under 6 have child safety seats — but only 33 percent of them strap their child in for every ride.
The findings are published in a survey released yesterday.
Safe Kids Worldwide, a non-profitable organization, teamed up with local police and health authorities to conduct the survey covering 693 local families with children under 6.
The survey coincides with a program that started in local hospitals yesterday to educate and guide parents on driving their newborns back home.
Professional technicians went to Xinhua Hospital to teach parents how to properly choose, install and use child safety seats. During a month-long program, the technicians will visit other local hospitals as well as other cities to promote car safety knowledge.
To enforce the use of child safety seats, the city's revised traffic rule enacted in March has ordered that proper seats for children under 4 years old must be used.
People ignoring the rule face a 100 yuan (US) fine. Use of child safety seats can reduce the mortality rate of infants in car accidents by 71 percent, according to statistics.
"We found many parents still have poor understanding on the importance of using child safety seats," said Monica Cui, an official from Safety Kids Worldwide.
The leading reasons cited for not using seats, she added, are that it's not worth strapping them in for short journeys or that children cry if they are strapped in.
Many parents also said they needed technical guidance on installing and using the seats properly, said Cui. "The legislation has shown its effects, as over half of parents with private cars said they will buy the seat."
Peng Juanjuan from Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention said the authority is promoting child seat education in hospital maternity departments.
"Many developed countries regulate that parents must use a child safety seat when taking their newborn baby from the hospital. We are also promoting the education to encourage more families to use the facility to protect their children's health and safety," she said.
Gu Jinhua said she forces her 17-month-son to stay in his child safety seat if driving on expressways and sometimes holds him in her hands while the car drives slowly in downtown roads if the boy cries.
"I will change that habit and keep him in the seat for his safety in the future."