Health and Community Services
Government Services
June 12, 2008

New Campaign Highlights Booster Seat Safety

Give Me A Boost, the new campaign by the Provincial Government to highlight new requirements for booster seats, was introduced today by the Honourable Ross Wiseman, Minister of Health and Community Services, and the Honourable Kevin O’Brien, Minister of Government Services. The legislative changes regarding booster seats, which come into effect July 1, 2008, were first announced in June 2007.

“The safety and well-being of our province’s children is our government’s top priority,” said Minister Wiseman. “Booster seats can significantly reduce the risk of death and injuries in a collision so passing this legislation was clearly the right thing to do. We currently have a law in place requiring infants and smaller children to be secured in appropriate infant and child seats. The new requirement for booster seats provides protection for children who are still too small to safely use a regular adult seat belt system.”

“Appropriate restraint systems have been shown to save lives in the event of a collision,” said Minister O’Brien. “Seat belts, infant and child seats and booster seats are designed to keep people safe. Our legislation needed to be updated to reflect changing practices and I am pleased that, through this amendment, our children will now be safer when travelling in vehicles.”

Effective July 1, 2008, children from four to eight years who weigh between 18 and 37 kilograms (40 to 80 pounds) and who are 145 cm (4'9'') tall or under, are required to be secured in a booster seat when being transported in most vehicles in Newfoundland and Labrador. The law applies to cars, vans, passenger trucks, taxis, private vehicles contracted by a school board to transport children, and passenger vehicles used by day cares. Buses such as school buses, urban transportation buses and motor coaches, which are not normally equipped with seat belt systems, are not included.

Booster seats help prevent injury in the event of a motor vehicle collision because they raise children high enough off the vehicle's seat to allow for a proper seat belt fit. The height adjustment ensures the seat belt lies across the pelvis, ribcage and shoulder rather than the stomach and neck of the child. In the event of a collision, a properly installed and appropriately used booster seat can reduce the risk of injury to a child by 70 per cent and reduce the risk of death by 90 per cent.

"Kids in Safe Seats is very happy to see Newfoundland and Labrador introduce booster seat legislation,” said Shelley Bauer, President, Kids in Safe Seats. “The education and enforcement of this legislation will save lives and may prevent families with young children from having to deal with a severe injury from a motor vehicle crash. No one wants to see a child with a severe injury that could have easily been prevented through the use of a booster seat. Do your children a life long favor – give them a boost!"

The Give Me a Boost campaign consists of print and radio ads to inform residents about the new booster seat law as well as a brochure, available in print and online, which details the new requirements and other important safety information on installing and securing a child in a booster seat.

This initiative complements work undertaken over the last year through the Provincial Wellness Grants Program. To engage communities and help communicate the importance of booster seat safety, two wellness grants were awarded. The Car Seat Safety Committee in conjunction with Family Resource programs in the Western-Grenfell Region received a $15,000 wellness grant to support these clinics and training in that region as well as Labrador City. Kids in Safe Seats also received a wellness grant of $21,000 to conduct child passenger safety training and clinics in various regions of the province and also to support the development of promotional and education materials on booster seats, which were distributed widely throughout the province.

For more information on Booster Seats Safety and the new provincial regulations visit www.gov.nl.ca/health.

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Media contacts:

Glenda Power
Director of Communications
Department of Health and Community Services
709-729-1377, 685-1741
glendapower@gov.nl.ca
 
Vanessa Colman-Sadd
Director of Communications
Department of Government Services
709-729-4860, 682-6593
vanessacolmansadd@gov.nl.ca
 

2008 06 12                           1:15 p.m.
 


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