Missouri and Kansas are two of 29 states that have child restraint laws that cover children up to age 7. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that by expanding the child restraint laws to cover 7- and 8-year-olds, more children will be seated in the back seat, the use of booster seats will increase, and crash injuries will be reduced.
The CDC reported that the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia found that using booster seats rather than seat belts alone can reduce the risk of injury to children aged 4-7 by 59%. Unfortunately, a 2009 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that only 55% of 4-7 year olds were using a booster seat.
Many safety organizations stress these important tips for safely securing your older children in a car:
• Children should be in a booster seat until they are about 4'9" in order for the vehicle belt to properly fit.
• The lap belt portion of the seat belt should fit low over the child's hips and top of the thighs; and the shoulder portion of the best should cross the center of the child's chest when they are seated without a booster seat.
• Regardless, all children age 13 and younger should sit in the backseat.
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