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News Releases

For Immediate Release

Children’s Hospital Wants Families to be Informed When New Booster Seat Law is Implemented

National Child Passenger Awareness Week Feb. 10-16; New State Law Effective Feb. 21

On Feb. 21, a new state law will be effective requiring that children ages 4 to 8 years old who are passengers in motor vehicles be restrained in a booster seat.

The new law also addresses mandatory seat belts for children from 8 to 18 years of age. During National Child Passenger Awareness Week, Feb. 10-16, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh wants to inform families of the safest ways to transport children in vehicles.

More than 90 percent of all car seats are installed improperly, said Barbara Gaines, MD, co-director of the Benedum Trauma Program at Children’s.

“This new law comes from information on crashes involving children and is very clear that this is the best way to keep all children safe,” Dr. Gaines said. “As an institution charged with taking care of children, we also take very seriously our responsibility to inform patients and families when we learn through research or experience the best ways to keep children safe.”

Dr. Gaines added that using car restraints properly is so important with children because trauma accounts for more than 40 percent of all child-related deaths. Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children 14 and younger.

Unrestrained children are more likely to be injured, suffer more severe injuries and die in motor vehicle accidents than children who are restrained properly. Results from previous safety seat checks have shown that four out of five car seats are used incorrectly.

Below are a few important highlights of the new law:

  • All drivers must buckle children from birth to age 4 in a federally approved child safety seat.
  • All drivers must buckle children from age 4 to age 8 in a federally approved child booster seat with seat belt.
  • All drivers must buckle children from age 8 and up to 18 years in a seat belt wherever they sit in the vehicle.
  • Fines for failure to provide a child safety seat or child booster seat for a child are up to $100.

Children’s Injury Prevention Web site has information on car seat safety tips, community classes and other related information.

Last Update
February 20, 2008
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Last Update
February 20, 2008