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Nursing students promote booster-seat awareness

Staff Reporter

Published: Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 13:10

Southeastern nursing, Tangipahoa Parish Fair

Samantha Varnado

Nursing students stand in front of their booth at the Tangipahoa Parish Fair to promote booster-seat awareness.

According to Southeastern nursing students, many of our young children are in danger, when they ride in vehicles, even when in booster seats.

On Oct. 2, nursing students gathered at the Tangipahoa Parish Fair in Amite to help promote booster seats. Booster seats help save thousands of lives each year. 
They “protect children from motor vehicle accidents,” said Soni Shrestha.

The purpose of booster seats is to “properly restrain children in the car and raise them up so the seat belt fits in the proper position on their shoulder. When they are too short, it goes across their neck,” said Brandy Spencer.

Booster seats are intended to serve like adult seat-belts. They keep the child firmly secured in their seat so that in the event of a sudden braking or collision, the child is not thrown against the car interior or ejected from the vehicle. It is against the law if their child is not properly restrained in a booster seat.

“There is a lack of knowledge about booster seats,” said Spencer. “Most people think their kids go to school and don’t need a booster seat, where in reality, it’s like first or second grade before they can get out of them.”

According to Louisiana state law, a child from birth to one year of age should ride rear facing in a convertible seat. By six years old, if the child is more than 60 pounds, they should ride with a seat-belt on, or with a belt-positioning booster seat.

“[They] have to meet three requirements: 4’9”, age 6, and greater than 60lbs., and if they can meet two of the three, then they can get out of the booster seat. Until then, they have to stay in the booster seat for their safety,” said Brittany Thomas.

Nursing students promoted booster seats by “doing a free raffle, giving out booster seats, giving out flyers on how to install them, and asking any questions people may have,” said Spencer. They also went out to several elementary schools and handed out information to teachers and parents about the use of booster seats. There, they surveyed the students and concluded that “two out of three students were not in booster seats when they should have been. Over 60 percent were not in booster seats,” Spencer said.

According to the CDC, child safety seats reduce the risk of death by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers ages one to four. Booster seats reduce the risk for serious injury by 45 percent for children ages four to eight.

“The leading cause of death in young children is due to children not being properly restrained. If that’s a leading cause of death, then that is an issue,” said Amberlee Collard.

In a study conducted by the CDC, nearly 72 percent of 3500 observed car and booster seats were improperly installed. This is expected to increase a child’s risk of injury during a crash.

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