Safe Kids Canada applauds new booster seat laws to protect children



    TORONTO, June 26 /CNW/ - Children in two provinces will ride more safely
when new booster seat laws take effect on Canada Day. Safe Kids Canada is very
pleased that beginning July 1st, British Columbia and Newfoundland and
Labrador will become the latest provinces to enact mandatory booster seat
legislation.
    "Laws making booster seats mandatory for children who have outgrown their
car seats, but are too small for seat belts alone, will prevent injuries and
save lives," says Pamela Fuselli, executive director of Safe Kids Canada.
    Seat belt syndrome is the medical term used to describe the devastating
pattern of injuries that can happen to children who are buckled into an
ill-fitting seat belt during a crash. Research shows that booster seats
provide 60 per cent more protection than seat belts alone, for children
approximately four to nine years old. "We know the majority of these children
are riding in adult seat belts even though they don't fit safely," say
Fuselli. "This puts children at risk for serious injuries to the spine and
internal organs."
    Booster seat legislation is already in effect in five other Canadian
provinces: Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New
Brunswick. While legislation varies somewhat between provinces, in general the
laws require booster seats for children who are 40 to 80 pounds (18 to 36
kilograms) and/or at least 9 years old and/or at least 4 feet 9 inches tall.
Parents should check with their province for exact regulations.
    Safe Kids Canada urges all remaining provinces and territories to enact
booster seat laws to protect children, and urges all Canadian parents to use
booster seats when needed regardless of where they live. In addition, Safe
Kids Canada encourages that all legislation be complemented with education and
enforcement.
    To celebrate new booster seat laws, Safe Kids Canada with the support of
its sponsor, Hudson's Bay Company (Hbc), and community partner agencies will
offer booster seat fitting check-ups at select Zellers stores in British
Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador as part of its Kids that Click program.
Parents can learn more about these events and order a free educational DVD
which demonstrates how to use car seats and booster seats safely at
1-888-SAFE-TIPS (723-3847) or www.safekidscanada.ca

    Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death among children and
youth in Canada. Safe Kids Canada collaborates with community partners across
the country to conduct research, raise awareness, educate families, and
advocate for safer environments. Safe Kids Canada is the national injury
prevention program of SickKids.





For further information:

For further information: Sharon Burkhart, Manager of Communications and
Marketing - Safe Kids Canada, Tel: (416) 813-6164, Email:
sharon.burkhart@sickkids.ca

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Safe Kids Canada

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