DETROIT (WWJ) – A new University of Michigan study takes a look at what role race plays in using car seats.

Researchers say white parents reported higher use of age-appropriate car seats for one-to seven-year-old children than non-white parents.

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The study’s lead author Dr. Michelle Macy says researchers took into account family income and parent education levels:

“Some of the easy explanations for racial differences aren’t seeming to hold up, so just saying it’s because of income level or education level isn’t giving us the explanation,” said Macy.

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The study also found even after parents were given instruction about child safety – the racial differences persisted.

Macy says healthcare providers, teachers, and daycare facilitators  may all be able to help play a part in eliminating racial disparities in car-seat usage.

The study also found non-white parents were also about three times as likely to move kids to booster seats and seat belts earlier than they should.

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The research appears in the journal Pediatrics.