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Orlando Sentinel

New attention to car seat laws kicks off the New Year

Thursday, January 15, 2015

An election held in the state of Florida last year is helping bring attention to booster seat laws in the United States. A new statewide mandate officially went into effect in Jan. 1, 2015 making booster seats a requirement for children up until age 6.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, prior to this change Florida law only required car seats through age 3.

With the addition of this law, Florida state officials are sending a message to their residents about the importance of proper child restraints and other states are beginning to take notice. In December 2014, Michigan state senate approved an update to their child passenger safety laws to align with national standards.

Why are booster seats important to the safety for your child? A lap belt-only is not as effective if your child not at the proper height and weight. Booster seat use is important because they fill-in the gap between toddler and tween years in terms of car passenger safety. Statistics show that the use of a booster seat can reduce the risk of serious injury by 45 percent.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 49 states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico require booster seats or another type of restraint for children, who have outgrown their car seat, but are too small to use a regular seat belt.
Despite the laws in your state, the recommendation is that parents and caretakers keep children in a booster seat until at least age 8, or when they are 4-foot, 9-inches tall.

Are you still not sure if you are using your booster seat correctly?

Watch this Buckle Up for Life video on how to properly install a booster seat.

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