Kids Canada applauds Ontario Minister for introducing booster seat bill aimed at
reducing injuries among young children
16, 2002 TORONTO
- Safe Kids Canada, the national injury prevention program of
The Hospital for Sick Children, believes Ontario’s introduction of a bill
requiring the use of booster seats for children over 40 lbs. is a progressive
step towards reducing the leading cause of severe injury and death among young
bill, introduced on Friday by Ontario Minister of Transportation, Norm Sterling,
recognizes that seat belts are not designed to fit young children. If a child is
wearing just a seat belt, the lap belt could ride up too high onto the child's
abdomen in a crash, causing serious abdominal and spinal cord injuries. Instead,
the use of booster seats positions the seat belt safely over the child's body to
maximize protection in the event of a collision. Booster seats also reduce the
likelihood that a child will be ejected from a vehicle in a roll-over crash.
majority of these injuries can actually be prevented and booster seat
legislation addresses a major cause of devastating injury for children,” says
Dr. Andrew Howard, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at The Hospital for Sick
Children and lead researcher on a four-year trauma study detailing the
mechanisms of injury among children in motor vehicle collisions. “If the use
of booster seats becomes as common as seat belts for adults and car seats for
younger children, we will remove a major cause of injury, disability and
booster seat measure comes on the heels of a report by the Chief Medical Officer
of Health recommending that the province’s road safety legislation “should
optimize passenger safety for all ages.” The proposed law will require
drivers to ensure that booster seats are used for children who weigh between 18
to 27 kilograms or 40 to 60 lbs. and whose height, while seated, is less than 63 centimeters or 25 inches.
Currently, legislation only requires car seat use up to 40lbs. and does
not specify booster seats.
proposed legislation is progressive because it outlines both a weight and height
requirement before children should graduate to seat belts. However, all children
will not necessarily fit the adult seat belt system safely at 60 lbs. Transport Canada certifies booster seats that can be used
with children who weigh between 40 and 100 lbs.
Most booster seats in Canada are certified for use up to 80 lbs. Quebec
has passed a law, effective October 2003, outlining that children must be in a
car or booster seat until they reach sitting height of 63 centimeters.
is an important bill that when passed will have a positive impact on the safety
of young children. Enforcement and
education campaigns will promote the increased use of booster seats,” said Rita
Mezei, Public Policy and Advocacy Specialist, at Safe Kids Canada.
“We know that several other provinces are considering similar
legislation. With Ontario and
Quebec now leading the way, we hope that others will quickly follow”.
children who weigh more than 40 lbs. should use a booster seat. When using a
booster seat, it is important that the vehicle seat back or booster seat gives
your child proper head and neck support. According to Safe Kids Canada, a child
fits the seat belt system safely if you can answer yes to all of the following
the lap belt fit as low as possible, touching the child’s thighs and not over
the shoulder belt cross the child’s body across the middle of the chest
between the neck and arm?
the child sit all the way back against the vehicle seat?
the child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the vehicle seat?
the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?
more information on booster seat and car seat use, please contact Safe Kids
Canada at www.safekidscanda.ca
or 1-888-SAFE TIPS (723-3847). Safe
Kids Canada is the national injury prevention program of The Hospital for Sick
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