State Farm: Booster Seats Lower Injury Risk

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By Michael Ha

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NU Online News Service, June 4, 2:20 p.m.EDT?New research released by State Farm InsuranceCompanies shows that using belt-positioning booster seats, alongwith regular seatbelts, cuts the risk of injury to children bynearly 60 percent when compared to using seatbelts alone.

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These latest findings came from Partners for Child PassengerSafety studies, a partnership project started by State Farm MutualAutomobile Insurance and the Children's Hospital ofPhiladelphia.

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"This is by far the biggest study on the use of booster seats,"said Zoe Younker, a State Farm spokeswoman. "And obviously, whenyou can save lives, you can definitely see a benefit from theinsurance perspective. Anytime you can reduce injuries, youdefinitely see the impact on claims."

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For the study, researchers collected data from State FarmInsurance claim records from 3,616 car crashes in 15 statesinvolving 4,243 children between the ages of four and seven, theBloomington, Ill.-based insurer said.

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The study found that booster seats--devices that elevate thechildren so that regular seatbelts can fit more properly--appearedto be particularly useful in lowering the risk of injuries to theabdomen and spine.

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"When you have small children in regular seatbelts, these adultseatbelts cannot protect these children well. That's why boosterseats are so important," Ms. Younker said.

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Currently, 18 states and Washington, D.C., have laws requiringbooster seats for young children. With these new findings, StateFarm hopes that other states will take notice and implement similarrequirements to protect more children, Ms. Younker said.

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