Study Confirms Benefits of Belt-Positioning Booster Seats

Analysis shows belt-positioning booster seats reduce injury risk as compared to seat belts
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The use of belt-positioning booster seats in children reduces the risk of injury during a crash as compared to the use of standard seat belts, according to a study published online Oct. 19 in Pediatrics.

Kristy B. Arbogast, Ph.D., of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues analyzed data on children 4 to 8 years old from 16 states who were involved in crashes between 1998 and 2007. These children were seated in the rear rows of a vehicle and restrained by either a belt-positioning booster seat or a seat belt. The researchers obtained complete interview data on 7,151 children who were involved in 6,591 crashes, and estimated that the survey sample represented 120,646 children who were involved in 116,503 crashes.

Compared to seat belt usage, the researchers found that belt-positioning booster seats significantly reduced the risk of injury (adjusted relative risk, 0.55).

"This study reconfirms previous reports that belt-positioning booster seats reduce the risk for injury in children 4 through 8 years of age by studying a greater percentage of children aged 6 to 8 years than previous studies," the authors conclude. "On the basis of these analyses, parents, pediatricians, and health educators should continue to recommend as best practice the use of belt-positioning booster seats once a child outgrows a harness-based child restraint until he or she is at least 8 years of age."

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