Quantcast

Study: Booster seats save lives - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Study: Booster seats save lives

Posted: Updated:
WILLISTON, Vt. -

A new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows booster seat laws save lives.  The research looked at fatalities and injury rates in states before and after they passed legislation that mandated their use in older children.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in kids nationwide.  Each year about 1,800 children age 14 and under are killed. Another 280,000 are injured.  Safety experts blame, in part, a lack of safety restraints in some, and improper use of them in others.

"We have an epidemic of car seat related injuries in the U.S. because parents aren't using them properly or even at all," said Ann Weinstein with Fletcher Allen's Child Passenger Safety Program.

Most states, if not all, mandate restraints in kids, but officials say the laws are inconsistent when it comes to booster seats.  Some states mandate their use up to age 4, others 5, 6, or 7 -- and some, including Vermont, say kids must be in booster seats until age 8.

"We'd like you to use the high back booster before you use the low back booster because every step forward with car seats is a step down in safety," Weinstein said.

A new study presented at an American Academy of Pediatrics conference this week concluded that a nationwide standard would save lives.  "They were able to see that in the states where booster seat laws extended through the age groups most vulnerable, that the incidence of serious injury and fatalities was clearly improved," said Dr. Eliot Nelson, who sits on the Academy's Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention.

Researchers compared fatalities and serious injuries before and after booster seat laws were passed.  Out of 9,848 reviewed over a 10 year period -- doctors saw a 20-percent reduction in kids 4 to 6 years-old, and an even higher reduction in kids 7 to 8 years old -- a 33 percent drop when booster seats were required by law.

Experts say booster seats prop kids up so their seat belts cross the hard, boney pelvis -- not their abdomen and other internal organs. It keeps them from slouching.

"When they do that, the lap belt rides up to the level of the belly button. There you are vulnerable to the kinds of injuries that are most serious in this age which involves serious compression in the typical car crash -- a frontal car crash -- bad compression of the abdominal contents," Dr. Nelson said.

It's called Seat Belt Syndrome.  Nelson said serious spinal cord injuries occur as well.   The Academy of Pediatrics is not advocating for a nationwide booster seat law at this time but suggests people follow the Academy's recommendations when it comes to keeping their kids safe while in cars.  

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Sen. Jim Jeffords to be laid to rest

    Sen. Jim Jeffords to be laid to rest

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:51 AM EDT2014-08-22 14:51:48 GMT
    Former U.S. Sen. Jim Jeffords will be laid to rest in Rutland today.
    Former U.S. Sen. Jim Jeffords will be laid to rest in Rutland today.
  • Vt. police say all clear in Newport

    Vt. police say all clear in Newport

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:12 AM EDT2014-08-22 15:12:45 GMT
    Police say the threat is over in Newport. Thursday night, police had asked residents to lock their doors and stay inside while authorities searched for a gunman.
    Police say the threat is over in Newport. Thursday night, police had asked residents to lock their doors and stay inside while authorities searched for a gunman.
  • Police: Couple wanted 2 Amish girls for slaves

    Police: Couple wanted 2 Amish girls for slaves

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:35 AM EDT2014-08-22 14:35:33 GMT
    An investigator says a northern New York couple kidnapped two Amish sisters from their family farm stand with a plan to turn them into slaves but released them after becoming frightened by news reports.
    An investigator says a northern New York couple kidnapped two Amish sisters from their family farm stand with a plan to turn them into slaves but released them after becoming frightened by news reports.
  • Wire fraud convict has until Friday to object

    Wire fraud convict has until Friday to object

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:29 AM EDT2014-08-22 14:29:05 GMT
    A Vermont man convicted of wire fraud for submitting false invoices to a Maine town has reached the end of his allotted time to file objections to a pre-sentencing reporting.
    A Vermont man convicted of wire fraud for submitting false invoices to a Maine town has reached the end of his allotted time to file objections to a pre-sentencing reporting.
  • Parents had hoped to negotiate with Foley captors

    Parents had hoped to negotiate with Foley captors

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:56 AM EDT2014-08-22 14:56:11 GMT
    The parents of slain journalist James Foley say they regarded an email they received from his captors last week as a hopeful sign they could negotiate with Islamic militants.
    The parents of slain journalist James Foley say they regarded an email they received from his captors last week as a hopeful sign they could negotiate with Islamic militants.
  • Slaying of NH journalist reopens debate on ransoms

    Slaying of NH journalist reopens debate on ransoms

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:04 AM EDT2014-08-22 15:04:15 GMT
    By rejecting demands for a nine-digit payment to save kidnapped American journalist James Foley, the United States upheld a policy choice that some European and Arab governments have long found too wrenching to...
    By rejecting demands for a nine-digit payment to save kidnapped American journalist James Foley, the United States upheld a policy choice that some European and Arab governments have long found too wrenching to make...
  • Pope calls family of slain American journalist

    Pope calls family of slain American journalist

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:08 AM EDT2014-08-22 15:08:25 GMT
    Pope Francis has called the family of an American journalist whose videotaped beheading by Islamic State militants has touched off torrents of outrage around the world.
    Pope Francis has called the family of an American journalist whose videotaped beheading by Islamic State militants has touched off torrents of outrage around the world.
  • Ousted Montpelier planner granted new hearing

    Ousted Montpelier planner granted new hearing

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:20 AM EDT2014-08-22 14:20:54 GMT
    The former city planning director in Montpelier who lost her job last year after a publicized struggle with other city officials has been granted a near hearing on the matter.
    The former city planning director in Montpelier who lost her job last year after a publicized struggle with other city officials has been granted a near hearing on the matter.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.