Safekids Logo

1000 SW Jackson Suite 230
Topeka, KS 66612-1274
(785) 296-1223
(785) 296-8649 (FAX)

Coordinator:
Jan Stegelman

Executive Committee:
Randall Bolin
NHTSA Region VII

Dennis Cooley, MD
Medical Advisor
American Academy of
Pediatrics, Kansas
Chapter

John Drees
Douglas County
SAFE KIDS Coalition

John Halbran
Kansas Safety Belt
Education Office

Jim Keating
Kansas State
Firefighters Association

Elena Nuss
Kansas State
Fire Marshal's Office

Cindy Samuelson
Kansas Hospital Association

For Immediate Release:
June 20, 2007

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461


Enforcement of Kansas booster seat law begins July 1:
Citations to replace warnings

Safe Kids Kansas is reminding parents that a change in the enforcement of the Kansas booster seat law takes effect on July 1, 2007, when warnings for violations of the booster seat law will be replaced by citations carrying a fine of $60 plus court costs. Motorists are required to properly restrain children ages 4 through 7 in a booster seat, unless the child weighs more than 80 pounds or is taller than 4 feet 9 inches. For information on the law and how to properly secure children in booster seats, visit www.kansasboosterseat.org.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 4 through 7, and booster seats used properly with safety belts have been proven more effective than safety belts alone at reducing the risk of injury to children involved in a crash. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in June 2003 concluded that children ages 4 through 7 using booster seats were 59 percent less likely to be injured in a crash than children who were restrained only by an adult safety belt.

Belt-positioning booster seats help protect children who are too big for child seats but too physically immature to use an adult seat belt,” said Jan Stegelman, Safe Kids Kansas Coordinator. A belt-positioning booster seat raises the child up so that the seat belt fits the child’s body. Since children in booster seats use the adult seat belt, no installation of the seat is required. “A belt-positioning booster seat not only makes a child safer, but also makes the safety belt fit better and feel better to the child ,” said Stegelman.

Booster seats that meet federal safety standards and fit children from 40 to 80 lbs. are readily available for $12-$30 at local retailers around the state. In fact, all currently manufactured combination child safety seats will convert to a belt-positioning booster seat, so in many cases, a new seat is not even needed. Read the car seat manufacturer’s instructions to find out if this is an option. Safe Kids Kansas and local community groups will continue to work with retailers to assure that adequate supplies of reasonably priced booster seats are available to Kansas parents.

When securing children in a booster seat, drivers should make sure the shoulder belt is snug across the chest and rests flat across the center of the collarbone. The shoulder belt should never be placed behind a child’s back or under the arm.   “The law enforcement community and the Kansas Highway Patrol are dedicated to the safety of all Kansas children,” said Colonel William Seck, Superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol. “We will be aggressively enforcing the booster seat law, as we do all provisions of Kansas’ child passenger safety laws.”   The Kansas child passenger safety law requires that children be secured in an appropriate child passenger safety restraint, using the following guidelines:   Children under age 1 and 20 lbs. must ride in a rear-facing child seat. Children ages 1 (who are over 20 lbs), 2 and 3 must be properly restrained in a forward-facing child seat. Children ages 4, 5, 6 and 7 must ride in a booster seat unless the child weighs more than 80 pounds or the child is taller than 4 feet 9 inches. Children ages 8 through 13 must be protected by a vehicle safety belt.

Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of 67 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14. Local coalitions and chapters are located in Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Ellis, Finney, Ford, Franklin, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Montgomery, Nemaha, Osage, Pottawatomie, Republic, Rice, Riley, Saline, Smith, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Wilson and Woodson Counties, as well as the cities of Chanute, Emporia, Leavenworth, Norton, Pittsburg, the Wichita Area and the Metro Kansas City Area. Safe Kids Kansas a member of Safe Kids Worldwide , a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury. The lead agency for Safe Kids Kansas is the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. For more information visit www.safekidskansas.org.

www.safekidskansas.org

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