Booster seats advised for young, small children 02-21-03

PHONE: 961-2305
FEBRUARY 21, 2003


The Hawaii County Police Department is reminding motorists that booster seats are safer than seat belts for young children who weigh less than 80 pounds.

Every year about 160 children in Hawaii, aged 4 to 7 years old, are transported to a hospital as a result of traffic crashes. Most of those killed or severely injured are not using a booster seat.

In Hawaii, it is legal for children between the ages of four and eight to ride restrained with only seat belts. However, this practice exposes these children to unnecessary risk. Children in that age group who weigh about 40 to 80 pounds should be properly secured in an appropriate booster seat.

Youngsters are often placed in standard adult seat belts, which can cause internal injuries and death as a result of a car crash. This is because seat belts are designed for older children and adults.

To acquire a proper “fit” for a child who weighs between 40 and 80 pounds, a booster seat should be used. Booster seats offer the best protection for children 4 to 8 years old (or about 40 to 80 pounds).

To learn more about how to protect your child, come to the “Click It or Ticket” 3 on 3 basketball tournament on March 22, 2003, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Keaau High School Gymnasium.

Certified child passenger technicians will be available to assist you. A limited number of booster seats will be given away to qualifying families. A parent and the child must be present to qualify.

For further information, please call John Kaizuka of the State Health Department at 933-0911.

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