Public Health Week Aims To Boost Use Of Boosters: MDCH Launches Child Passenger Safety Day

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

April 6, 2005

As part of National Public Health Week, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is promoting awareness of a different public health issue each day this week.

Today's information focuses on the importance of proper child safety restraints while driving. Child Passenger Safety Day highlights the significance of having your child correctly secured in your vehicle. Throughout the day MDCH will create awareness on the dangers of improper child passenger safety and how they can be avoided through the proper use of a car seat or booster.

"Children ages 4 to 7 in booster seats are 59 percent less likely to be injured in a crash than children who are restrained only by a safety belt," said Janet Olszewski, MDCH Director. "As adults it is our job to ensure the safety of those in our care, those too young to do it for themselves."

Currently, 28 states have booster seat requirements within their child passenger safety law. Legislation has recently been introduced to add a booster seat requirement to Michigan's child passenger safety law.

"Moving a child to a safety belt too early greatly increases risk of injury," said Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom, Michigan Surgeon General. "Children ages 2 to 5 who are moved too early are four times more likely to suffer a serious head injury in a crash than those restrained in child safety seats or boosters."

For more information on child safety seats and boosters, please visit www.safekids.orgwww.michigansafekids.org, or www.carseat.org.

National Public Health Week 2005 is about empowering Americans to live stronger, longer. Each day will focus and promote awareness of a different public health related issue. Informational events as well as free health assessments will be taking place across the state throughout the week.