Science Tuesday

Children between the ages of 4 and 7 in states with booster seat laws are more likely to be safe during car crashes than children in states without such laws, according to a report for the American Medical Association released yesterday.

Colorado passed booster seat legislation covering 4- and 5-year-olds in 2002. That law took effect in 2003.The report, published in the March issue of the AMA’s Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, said:

Children age 4 to 7 in states with booster seat laws were 39 percent more likely to be appropriately restrained in crashes than were children in states with no booster seat laws.

“Our data suggests that booster seat provisions for children aged 4 through 7 years will have some effect on all children in this age range,” the authors conclude. “Given the current greater use of appropriate restraints for 4- to 5-year-olds compared with older children, future upgrades to child restraint laws should target all children through at least age 7 years to achieve the greatest effect on overall child restraint use.”