States with booster seat laws had fewer child motor vehicle fatalities,
according to a new study. This is good news, particularly given that a
new child safety seat law took effect in California earlier this year.
It requires children to be restrained in a child safety seat or booster
seat in the back seat of the car until they are eight years old.
According to Reuters, the study revealed that after states began passing booster seat laws,
fewer children ages 4 to 7 died in car accidents. Between 1999 and 2009,
states that mandated booster seat use saw an 11 percent lower risk of
child traffic fatalities compared with states with no requirements. Booster
seats can prevent serious injuries during a San Diego accident because
they raise a child high enough so that seatbelts can be positioned properly.
Surprisingly, older children benefited the most. When six and seven-year-olds
were considered, the risk of death dropped even more dramatically by 25 percent.
“I think parents may think that as kids get older, they need booster
seats less,” said senior researcher Dr. Lois K. Lee of Children’s
Hospital Boston. “But this shows that it’s kids at the upper
end of the age range who could benefit the most,” she explained.