Police Urge Use of Booster Seats 04/03/00

PHONE: 961-2305
APRIL 3, 2000


April is National Booster Seat Month, and the Hawaii County Police Department is reminding parents to see that their young children are properly restrained in motor vehicles.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for children ages 5-15. It has also been found that as many a nine out of 10 young children are improperly restrained in vehicles.

A common mistake parents make in restraining children is that they don’t understand the need for different stages of child restraint use throughout a child’s growth. National statistics show that overall child restraint use falls from 87 to 68.7 percent for children after age 4. A total of 52.6 percent of children 4 to 7 years old who are fatally injured in traffic accidents are totally unrestrained.

Since Hawaii state law covers children only through the age of 4, many parents assume older children are safe with the use of a seat belt alone.

However, when children outgrow forward-facing convertible seats — at about age 4, or when they weigh about 40 pounds — they need to be restrained in belt-positioning booster seats until they are big enough to fit properly in an adult seat belt.

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