New Child Restraint Law

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Starting January 1, a new law will require all children under the age of eight, when in a car, to be in a booster seat.

Previously the law required children under the age of four to be in a car safety seat. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading case of death for children ages two to 14.

Studies predict that this new law will save the lives of at least 15 children, but the most difficult task will probably be convincing that to older kids who now have to get back into a car seat.

Homer recommends using a platform booster for the older kids. It's less restrictive and if the child is sitting a little higher the car's own safety restraints will work effectively.

If you are not sure how to properly install a safety seat in your car, there are free inspection clinics in our area.

For more information you can call 489-4483. Extended Web Coverage

Child Passenger Safety

Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death among children at every age after their first birthday.

Occurrence and Consequences

  • In 2000, 1,471 child passengers ages zero to14 died in motor vehicle crashes in the United States, and more than 250,000 sustained injuries requiring treatment in an emergency department. Many of these injuries could have been prevented.

  • Of the children ages zero to 12 years who were killed in motor vehicle crashes during 1999–2000, 52 percent were unrestrained, 18 percent were incorrectly restrained, and 35 percent were riding in the front seat.
  • Fewer than 10 percent of five- to eight-year-olds use booster seats, the recommended safety seat for this age group.

Risk Factors

  • Twenty percent of all deaths among children ages 0 to 14 years involved a drinking driver. Almost two-thirds of these fatally injured children were riding with the drinking drivers.

  • Restraint use among young children varies by driver restraint use. Three-quarters of children ages 1 to 4 who ride with an unrestrained driver are also unrestrained.

  • Many children who ride in child safety seats are not properly secured. A survey of nearly 6,000 children found that only 21 percent of children in safety seats were correctly harnessed into seats that were correctly installed.

Prevention Strategies

  • Child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by about 70 percent for infants and by about 55 percent for toddlers ages one to four.

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends booster seats for children over 40 pounds until at least age eight.

  • For children ages nine years and older, car seat belts reduce injury risk by about 50 percent.

  • All children ages 12 years and younger should ride in the back seat. This eliminates the injury risk of deployed front passenger-side airbags and places children in the safest part of the vehicle in the event of a crash. Riding in the back seat is associated with a 46 percent reduction in the risk of fatal injury in cars with a front passenger-side airbag and at least a 30 percent reduction in the risk of fatal injury in cars with no front passenger-side airbag.

Source: (National Center for Injury, Prevention and Control