Booster Seats Extremely Effective, Study Confirms
The study has been conducted by the researchers at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Center for Injury Research and Prevention and it is based on data gathered from more than 7,000 children aged 4 to 8 involved in real-world crashes between 1998 and 2007.
Other study results showed that there was no difference in the level of protection offered by backless versus high back booster seats. The greatest reduction in injury risk was seen by those riding in booster seats, involved in side-impact crashes.
"We wanted to take a fresh look at booster seats' effectiveness to reduce injury among this age group, because when we first evaluated the protective benefits of booster seats in 2002, most children using them were 4 and 5 years old," said lead researcher Kristy Arbogast, Director of Engineering at CHOP's Center for Injury Research and Prevention.
"Since then, usage rates among older kids ages 6- to 8 have tripled, and we wanted to be sure these older kids were as well-protected by booster seats as the younger ones, now that we had more data. We found that injury reduction offered by booster seats remains significant even when a greater proportion of older children are included in the study," she added.
However, while 47 states have booster seat laws, only 25 states and the District of Columbia require booster seats for children up to at least age 8. Florida, Arizona, and South Dakota have no booster seat law.