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Unaware of Laws, Many Parents Not Using Booster Seats for Older Children
Date:3/17/2010

In spite of the safety benefits of booster seat use, the poll found that almost half of parents with kids, ages 7 - 8, say they would not use booster seats if there were no laws.

"The key issue here is safety, regardless of the child's age. Booster seats improve the way a seatbelt fits a child. It helps lift them up in the cars' seat so that the lap belt sits low on their thighs and doesn't ride up on their abdomen," Macy says. "It keeps the shoulder belt across the middle of their chest in between their ear and their arm. This reduces the risk of injuries to the spine, to the head and to the abdomen.

"When kids don't fit comfortably in seatbelts, it often leads them to wear them improperly. Kids will sometimes put the chest belt behind them or under their arm and then they're not getting full protection from that seatbelt as it was designed for an adult to use. Not wearing the belt properly increases the likelihood of injury in a crash," she says.

Part of the problem is lack of up-to-date information for parents so they understand the importance of booster seat use and how to use them properly, Macy says. The best resources for current information are the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and talking with their child's primary care physician.


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SOURCE University of Michigan Health System
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