North Santa Rosa

Does your child need to be in a Booster Seat?

Back in the Booster?

Safety experts agree that children are moving to safety belts too soon. Seat belt systems in vehicles are made for someone who is at least 4’9” tall. Adult seat belts are not meant to fit children.

Most parents assume that if they follow the law, their child will be safe. However, when it comes to Florida’s Child Passenger Safety law – this is NOT the case. In fact, Florida has the weakest Child Passenger Safety law in the nation. Upon a child’s 4 th birthday he/she can go from a car seat to an adult seat belt. Nowhere else in the U.S. is this the case.

In a crash, poor seat belt fit often leads to serious injury or death. Children who have outgrown their 5 point harness car seat by weight or height should use a Booster Seat until they reach approximately 4’9” (typically between the ages of 8-12). Many parents/caregivers skip this very important step and start using a seat belt way too soon. They just don’t realize the danger in which they’re putting their child.

A booster seat simply “boosts” a child up and offers proper placement of the lap & shoulder belt, which is crucial for safety during a crash. When a child is seated correctly, the lap belt should cross over the lower hips/upper thighs and the shoulder belt should cross over the shoulder/collar bone. Without that booster seat, seat belts will cross over a child’s soft stomach and neck which can lead to serious debilitating injuries (Seat Belt Syndrome), such as a ruptured spleen, torn intestines, liver, or paralysis.

Booster seats keep children out of the hospital, saving heartache and worry, not to mention the cost of medical expenses. A $35 Booster Seat for children ages 4-7 yields an average savings of $2,500 per child.  Let’s bring it to the local level.  In Santa Rosa County, the rate of child passengers ages 5 and up who were injured or killed in motor vehicle crashes was significantly higher than the state average in 2010 – and the state average isn’t a good one.  That’s one statistic we can do something about!

To help support efforts to pass a Florida Booster law or to track pending legislation of HB151-FL, please ‘like’ Florida Booster Seat Coalition on Facebook. For more information or assistance with child passenger safety please contact Ginny Hinton at the Santa Rosa County Extension Office: or 623-3868.

Posted by on Jan 24 2012. Filed under Local. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *