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 |  Dec 13 2011, 10:30 PM

Kids come in all different shapes and sizes – so does one type of car safety seat fit all? An important question that seems to be popping up more frequently is if overweight children need a car seat that’s designed just for them – and according to a new study, the answer is no.

The study, which was conducted by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention, found no evidence of increased injury risk for children across a broad weight range. That means that an overweight child who is placed properly in a car seat that’s correctly installed is no more likely than a child of average weight.

“Given that nearly 32 percent of children in the United States are categorized as overweight or obese, and motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for all children, we wanted to better understand how these two threats to children’s health interact,” said Dr. Mark Zonfrillo, the lead author of the study and an attending emergency physician at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “This research should reassure parents that their only concern when it comes to car seat safety should be to follow the most recent guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics.”

Zonfriollo offers a great tip for re-evaluating you child’s safety seat needs – during your child’s scheduled doctor’s appointments. You’ll be able to get accurate weight and height measurements, which you can then use to gauge acceptable ranges on the seat’s labels or instructions.