Leaving the hospital with new babies, almost all parents place their infants in the car seat incorrectly, putting them "at increased risk for injury," according to a study announced Friday.

Researchers looked at 267 random families leaving Oregon Health and Science University Hospital with infants. They used the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration definition of "critial errors" to learn than 93 percent of those families strapped their newborns into their car seats wrong. Most of the mistakes had to do with harnessing the baby or the seat too loosely.

"Car safety seats can be difficult to use correctly for many families, and we need to provide the resources and services they need to help ensure the safest possible travel for newborns and all children," said Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, who led the study, in a news release. The article is to be presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition on Monday in San Diego.

Low-income, non-white, non-English-speaking and single or unwed parents were those most likely to make mistakes — in other words, those most likely not to know they're doing it wrong. "We need to move beyond the idea that we cannot afford to develop and support child passenger safety programs," Hoffman said. "Car crashes kill more kids that any other cause; we can't afford not to."

According to the news release:

The most common errors in positioning the infant included harness being too loose (69 percent), retainer clip too low (34 percent), use of after-market product not approved with seat (20 percent), harness too high (18 percent) and caregiver not knowing how to adjust the harness (15 percent). The most common installation errors were car safety seat installed too loosely (43 percent), angle of car safety seat incorrect (36 percent), safety belt used but not locked (23 percent) and incorrect spacing between car safety seat and vehicle front seat (17 percent).

Source: B. Hoffman, et al. "Unsafe from the Start: Critical Misuse of Car Safety Seats for Newborns at Initial Hospital Discharge." American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition. 2014.