What does having this new child booster seat law mean for Arizona

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- There are new rules when it comes to buckling up your child in Arizona. Kids under 8 and shorter than 4 feet 9 inches are legally required to be in a booster seat

“Do you guys know in a crash what a seatbelt is meant to do,” said Tracey Fejt, Injury prevention coordinator at Cardon Children’s Medical Center. ”[The seatbelt] is going to hold you super tight and not let you fly out of the car. So until you’re up to here [4 feet 9 inches] at this line, you guys need a booster seat.”

One of Fejt’s jobs is to teach kids in the community how to properly use a booster seat.
 
“The law is saying that the kids have to stay in a booster seat until their eighth birthday or 4 feet 9 inches,” Fejt continued.

Studies show belt-positioning booster seats lower the risk of injury to children who are 4 to 8-years-old by 45 percent. For younger ones, the risk of death can be reduced by 71 percent.
 
“This gives them that pelvic arch right here,” Fejt said. “So it keeps it down on their lap where it belongs. It takes the shoulder belt and they can position the shoulder belt exactly down on their neck where it belongs.”
 
Valley mom Sandee Prince has always put her children in booster seats.

“They jump in, put buckles on, that's it,” Prince said. “There are no fights. It's expected in our family.”

And while her 9-year-old son, Todd, stopped using his two months ago, he will be back in it again. This after realizing he's not 4 feet 9 inches yet.

“I think there is going to be a lot of surprised parents out there that will have to put their children back into the car seat,” Prince said.

But it’s definitely worth it, when it comes to keeping kids safe.

“If my kids don't eat peas, it's not going to kill them,” Fejt said. “But if my child doesn't sit in a booster seat like their supposed to, it could kill them.”

If a child isn't in a booster seat it's considered a primary offense which carries a $50 fine per child.

For more information about seat safety log onto: http://www.bannerhealth.com/Locations/Arizona/Cardon+Childrens+Medical+Center/Programs+and+Services/Community+Outreach/Injury+Prevention/Safety+Seats.htm

Maricopa County Safe Kids contact info: http://www.maricopa.gov/PublicHealth/programs/SafeKids/