This post was sponsored by The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth A Pound of Cure
Today’s post is an important one. When the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning reached out to me about their booster seat campaign, I knew that this was an important message to share with my readers. As a mom of young children, and the wife of a physician who works with pediatric trauma cases, I know all too well the injuries and fatalities that can happen from motor vehicle crashes. They aways say that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and that really is true, especially when it comes to automobile safety. So what can you do to prevent child injuries on the road?
The Importance of Booster Seats
With four children, each and every one of them has been so excited to “graduate” from their baby carseat. But when we finally make that move, I keep their utmost safety in mind. I have to admit, I left my youngest child in his 5 point restraint for a very long time, mainly because he was always trying to wrangle out of his seat, and I just wanted to keep him properly restrained. When we finally did make the move to transition him out of the carseat, you better believe we put him in a booster seat with a high back. Why? Because booster seat use saves lives. Did you know that using a booster seat reduces the risk for serious injury by 45 percent for children aged 4–8 years when compared with seat belt use alone? 45% is a huge risk reduction. So why take your chances?
Booster Seats are Underutilized
I didn’t know this but Michigan children ages 4-7 have a much lower rate of booster seat use ( only 49.7 percent). I’m sure this is true throughout the country too. Research suggests parents underestimate the risk and/or are unfamiliar with best child safety seat practices. So this is why spreading the message about booster seat use is so important! We make it fun and exciting for our kids when we make the move. They get to pick out their own seat, and it becomes something that they identify as part of them. And my kids like sitting in them because they can actually see what is on the road in front of them too!
Under 4’9″? Use a Booster Seat
I know my kids can’t wait to grow up an gain their independence. If your child is under 4’9”, they’re not tall enough to ride in the car without a booster seat. For some kids this might mean they are over the age of 10. No matter how grown up they seem, just don’t do it. Adult seat belts are not made for little bodies. When using a seatbelt, the lap portion of the belt must sit low on the hips rather than across the stomach or somewhere on the legs. The upper portion should come across the chest and rest on the bony shoulder. With a smaller person, you can’t meet these conditions without the booster seat. And they should remain in the booster seat until they can do this on their own.
To learn more, head to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.