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Booster seat laws dramatically decrease risk of child fatalities
by Joshua Bryne
New research presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition concluded that the states requiring babies and children up to 8 years old to sit in car seats have fewer automobile accidents that result in severe injuries or death, compared to states that don't have the law. It's crucial that parents are aware of the booster seat regulations where they live, especially during baby development.
Researchers from the AAP analyzed government statistics of fatalities among children between the ages of 4 and 8. They discovered that there was a 20 percent decrease in the number of deaths among kids who were 4 to 6 years old in states with booster-seat laws. The reduction was observed to be even higher among 7- and 8-year-olds. These significant findings indicate a need for standardizing this regulation across the country, concluded the researchers.
"Many states have booster seat laws. However, there are different requirements for how long the child should remain in the booster seat," said Lois Lee, M.D., the senior author of the abstract. "Our analysis supports the fact that booster seat laws should follow AAP standards to optimally protect children when they are riding in a motor vehicle."
The study's investigators also looked into how effective a lap or shoulder belt is without a booster seat. They found that children between the ages of 4 and 6 who only had this kind of restraint were 20 percent more likely to experience a fatal injury, as compared to those who were placed in a booster seat. Moreover, the odds were 70 percent greater for 7- and 8-year-old kids.
Do you think standardizing booster seat laws in all 50 seats in a good idea? Do you think most parents follow this recommendation? Leave your answers in the comments section!