GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Safe Kids Gainesville/Hall County reminds parents and caregivers about the new child restraint law effective July 1. Georgia’s new law requires children to be properly restrained in a child restraint (car seat/booster seat) appropriate for their height and weight in the backseat until they are eight years of age.
Booster seats help position children so that the seat belt fits across their body appropriately, across the shoulder and lower hips and upper thighs. Seat belts are designed for an averaged-size adult male. Children usually do not fit in adult seat belts properly until they are at least eight-years-old or about 4’ 9” tall.
“In a crash, poor fitting adult seat belts can result in serious injury to a child’s abdomen, neck and head. Booster seats have been proven to reduce injury risks for child passengers ages four to eight,” says Kim Martin, coalition coordinator for Safe Kids Gainesville/Hall County. “This new law will save the lives of children in Georgia.”
A study published in 2003 found that the odds of injury in a motor vehicle crash were 59 percent lower for children ages four to eight who were secured in belt-positioning booster seats than for those who used only seat belts. In the study, the booster seat users had no injuries to their abdomens, necks, spines, backs or lower extremities, while the seat belt users had injuries to all body regions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Safe Kids Georgia, Safe Kids Gainesville/Hall County and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend keeping children in booster seats until they are eight-years-old.
For more information about car seat safety, call Safe Kids Gainesville/Hall County at 770-219-8095 or visit www.safekidsgainesvillehall.org Safe Kids Gainesville/Hall County works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading killer of children 14 and under. Safe Kids Gainesville/Hall County is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing accidental injury. Safe Kids Gainesville/Hall County is led by Northeast Georgia Medical Center and is funded by The Medical Center Foundation’s Healthy Journey Campaigns. For more information, please visit www.safekidsgainesvillehall.org or call 770-219-8095.