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A Boost Of Confidence: Booster Seats Get A Boost Of Approval From Lawmakers

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

According to research, injuries to children 4 to 6 years of age declined 18% in New York following the implementation of a 2005 law making booster seats mandatory. The study is the first to do a comparison of traffic injury rates before and after the implementation of the state booster-seat law.

However, experts did not note any decrease in the injury rates of children younger than four...and also noted that these youngsters were not affected by the legislation because care seat laws were already in effect for them.

Forty-seven states along with the District of Columbia have made booster seats mandatory for children who have outgrown their car seat but who are still too small to be properly protected by seat belts.

Experts add that the findings should encourage parents to invest in a booster seat regardless of the laws of their state. They add that while individual state laws may vary, the laws of physics and the positive results of using a booster seat do not.

Furthermore, experts assert that most parents are not well informed of the fact that most safety equipment in vehicles has been designed for older kids and adults. The booster seat acts as an adapter taking the adult equipments and adapting it to the size of the child.

Depending on their growth and size some children may be ready to travel sans booster seat by age 8, while others may need them until age 11. And, experts strongly suggest that all children under the age of 13 travel in the back seat.

According to experts, regular seat belts are not effective in protecting children under 80 to 100 pounds and who are under 4 feet 9 inches. This, because these children are too short for the diagonal strap to properly fit around their shoulder and for the other belt to fit low and securely across the hips.

Experts add that children need booster seats until they can do three things:

1. They are tall enough so that the regular seat belt can rest against a hard, bony surface such as the hips and collarbone, and not against a soft surface such as the stomach.

2. They are able to bend their knees at the edge of the seat, even while sitting up straight.

3. Children are able to maintain that position without slouching or lying down for the entire trip.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > A Boost Of Confidence: Booster Seats Get A Boost Of Approval From Lawmakers

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