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March 14, 2009

Booster Seat and Seat Belt Safety Reminders!

Booster_seat_magicalnumber_ooh Children prematurely moved to seat belts are four times more likely to suffer serious head injuries during a collision than children in child safety or booster seats. Safety belts are designed for adults, and children under 4'9" tall should ride with a booster seat.

The booster seat safety message is a crucial one, NHTSA estimates that up to 90% of children in the U.S. who should be using a booster seat are not.  Their ongoing goal is to educate parents of children who have outgrown their child safety seat to understand that a booster seat is a life-saving transition to an adult safety belt.

NHTSA produced a special series of PSAs with the Walt Disney Company,  featuring Cinderella and her Fairy Godmother to educate the parents of young children who have outgrown their car seats that a booster seat is a must for any child under 4'9" before transition into an adult safety belt is safe. The campaign was designed to create awareness among parents of young children in an effort to reduce the number of avoidable deaths and serious injuries from car accidents each year.

Booster_seat_flygirl_oohAccording to NHTSA, research indicates at least 80 percent of children who should be using booster seats, are not. Without this extra lift, in a car crash, a safety belt alone can cause fatal or disabling abdominal, head and neck injuries. In fact, the use of booster seats lowers the risk of injury to children in crashes by 59 percent compared to the use of safety belts alone.

Dummies Do You Remember the initial Safety Belt Education Campaign?
The Safety Belt Education campaign began in 1985 and starred the always entertaining -- but often injured -- Crash Test Dummies. Do you remember them? Believe it or not, those loveable Dummies, Vince and Larry, have been enjoying retirement for TEN YEARS!  But thanks to their entertaining method of raising awareness, seat belt usage increased from 14% to 75% between the campaign launch in 1985 and 2003,  saving an estimated 85,000 lives! 


Vinlar6 Online Resources
Go to www.boosterseat.gov for more information about booster seats.

Visit the Buckle Up America Online Headquarters  for news, tools, and research about safety belts and other passenger safety issues.

To learn more about what NHTSA is doing to help promote safety belt education, check out their site at www.nhtsa.dot.gov.

For safety belt tips and other important information on how to protect yourself and your family on the road, visit the National Safety Council.


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